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Time for Europe to get real

by Frank Schnittger Sat Jul 26th, 2014 at 03:04:09 AM EST

298 mostly European civilians lost their lives when a civilian airliner was apparently shot down by a sophisticated homing missile available only to the most advanced armies in the world and fired from an area controlled by Ukrainian insurgents. Such weapons had allegedly been previously used to shoot down Ukrainian military aircraft. Whether it was operated by Ukrainian insurgents, Russian "advisers", or regular Russian troops, is almost immaterial: Putin and the Russian federation are almost certainly ultimately responsible. And yet European leaders do little but wring their hands and complain about the chaotic crash scene investigation and the recovery of bodies and personal effects.

No one expects European leaders to go to war with a nuclear power like Russia over such a provocation - but the repeated mincing of words by Obama and his Nato allies is nothing short of embarrassing. Well might Putin et al obfuscate until the outcry dies down.  But isn't it about time that the EU took some concerted action?  How about a strategic EU energy policy and plan to reduce all dependence on Russian gas within 10 years to zero by building a European supergrid powered from largely sustainable sources?

The problem with most forms of sustainable energy is that they require very large amounts of capital upfront, reasonable interest rates, and guaranteed feed in tariffs to be economically viable.  This is problematic at a time when many EU states - particularly those at the periphery are over-borrowed and under huge pressure to reduce Sovereign and private indebtedness. But how about making such capital available through the European Investment Bank for EU Commission approved projects?  

Irish and Scottish wind, wave and tidal turbines allied to eastern European and Mediterranean solar farms could make up a huge amount of the energy deficit created by a progressive reduction in Russian energy imports, whilst at the same time providing a much needed boost to investment and employment starved peripheral EU economies.  Would it be too much to ask the EU to be proactive and actually take the lead in such a continent wide project?  Would it be too much to ask for the EU to actually have a continent wide energy policy?

front-paged by afew


Display:
There is no doubt that the crash has been a huge propaganda boost to the Kiev regime and their allies in the West, which they are milking to the limit. Even though I regard Russia or it's proxies to be the more likely guilty party, my proposal does not require an assignation of guilt. Making the EU more self-sufficient in energy is good policy for all sorts of economic, environmental and strategic reasons and should be pursued regardless.  If such a policy shift can also channel some of the anger and grief away from a direct EU/Russia standoff, so much the better.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jul 21st, 2014 at 06:09:48 PM EST
But isn't it about time that the EU took some concerted action?  How about a strategic EU energy policy and plan to reduce all dependence on Russian gas within 10 years to zero by building a European supergrid powered from largely sustainable sources?

Obviously any right thinking man would agree that this is the way to go, financed in the way you propose. But how to make it happen?  

by rz on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 04:45:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ECB monetization.

Luckily, the Financial Times is just now running a series on functional finance.

FT Alphaville: Mission Finance

How can governments think big about the challenges ahead when they are slaves to defunct economic theory? This series looks at how policymakers can `think big' about the kind of technologies and socio-economic policies that can fulfil visionary ambitions to make growth smarter, more inclusive and sustainable.


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 04:49:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I mean: How to make it happen politically.

Currently our political debate ranges from

Renzi: We should decrease public spending somewhat slower.

to

Merkel: Crush any public investment now!

by rz on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 07:58:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All the more reason to use the Ukraine Crisis to frame the proposed solution as an energy security issue - not "interference in free markets".  If there is one thing you can get conservative nationalist parties to agree on its the need for security.  That's why arms spending is never wasted in their eyes even though it is the very definition of waste. Thus instead of proposing sanctions (which can be costly for both sides) or a ramp up in arms expenditure (to counter the Russian threat) let us propose a sustainable energy infrastructure investment splurge to counter excessive dependence on Russia (and Ukraine as a transit country).  Any day now insurgents could be blowing up gas pipelines, for instance, to punish the West for its interference and starve the Ukraine regime of transit income.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 08:30:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And how to you get the conservative nationalist parties not to interpret this as "build lots of nuclear power plants"?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 08:35:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What worries me is that you can frack a whole lot of real estate in the time you need to build a single nuclear power plant.
by generic on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 09:24:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yea - the legitimation of fracking would be my biggest concern.  That is why I stressed a 10 year timeframe to give more sustainable solutions a better chance of being the major contributors to the Russian gas energy substitution mix.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 09:49:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Red flag alert:
Ghouta gas attack
Sniper killings Maidan revolution
Downing Malaysian airliner MH-17

Apparently using the same blueprint to act on gossip, rumor, propaganda and lies as a year ago with the expected bombing raid over Syria.

What was the purpose of an Ukrainian Su-27 fighter jet flanking the MH-17 passenger plane. More questions than answers. You are moderate, the Dutch right wingers want to send the Marines to Donetsk to pick up the body bags of the victims by military force. Shame.

The junta in Kiev has intensified its siege on Luhansk and started bombing Donetsk this morning in the neighborhood between the railroad station and the airport. How are the revolutionaries in the Donetsk area able to cope with an assault from the regime and coordinating foreign media, OSCE observers, Dutch forensics have arrived for body identification, Malaysian experts will receive the two black boxes and the train with cooling has started to travel towards Kharkov. The bodies will be taken by the Dutch to the Netherlands for forensics and identification. Due to a number of plane disasters and the Srebrenica massacre, the Dutch are world renowned for their forensics. The Dutch team expressed their appreciation for the status of the collected bodies in the refrigerator wagons.

 « click for more info
Distraught civilians in eastern Ukraine pass beneath a railroad bridge blown up July 7 over the main highway between Donetsk and Slovyansk. (Dmitry Lovetsky / Associated Press)

"30 Hours Earlier. Ukraine Crisis"

h/t Susan Sunflower. Yes, more dogs that don't bark ... Anne Applebaum's article in Slate and a NYT editorial from yesterday are both notably "demur" when it comes to specifying exactly what concrete aid Russia/Putin has given the rebels ... not ringing endorsement of the "it must have been highly trained Russian assets operating inside rebel territory who fired that rocket." Anne Applebaum in the Washington Post: The End of the Russian Fairy Tale.

NY Times Opinion: Russia's Anti-West Isolationism by Maxim Trudolyubov
NATO policy towards 'containment' of Russia, making it a pariah state by Ivo Daalder
Kerry Preaching Policy Contra Russia @Atlantic Council

See my diary - Dutch News Uses Anne [Neocon] Applebaum as Putin Expert.

by Oui on Mon Jul 21st, 2014 at 07:03:33 PM EST
What was the purpose of an Ukrainian Su-27 fighter jet flanking the MH-17 passenger plane.

If true, maybe to hide behind the passenger plane so that the rebels wouldn't shoot it. But if this story is true, it makes it almost certain that the Ukrainians didn't shoot down the plane, as they wouldn't want to risk hitting their own plane.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 02:35:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If we assume really wicked minds, then... moral propaganda domination is priceless compared with an aircraft.

In the 33d chess of warfare, the #25 strategy (Occupy the moral high ground: Righteousness) is in the last "Unconventional (Dirty) Warfare" section, along with #30 (Penetrate their minds: Communication) and #33 (Sow uncertainty and panic through acts of terror: Chain Reaction)

by das monde on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 08:42:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
.
Who "Mislaid" the Malaysian MH-17 Black Boxes?

There should be no discrepancy on the whereabouts of the two black boxes. How the hell can Dutch FM Matk Rutte, overnight turned Neocon pro-Atlanticist and anti-Russian, tell the Dutch people just minutes ago:

"Black boxes are in the train to Charkov." [Kharkiv]

 
MH17 black boxes to be handed over to global probe team, Najib says

(Malaysian Insider) - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the MH17 black boxes which were retrieved from the crash site will be handed to the international investigation team for further analysis.

He said the boxes appeared to be in good condition. "They will held securely in Malaysian custody while the international investigation team is being formalised. At that time, we will pass the black boxes to the international investigation team," he said in a statement today.

Najib expressed his satisfaction at the manner in which the agreement reached with the rebel leader Alexander Borodai, the self-styled Prime Minister of the Donetsk People's Republic, had progressed.

'Industrial scale' tampering of evidence at MH17 site, says Aussie PM
MH-17 = Ghouta Redux? by Confused Ponderer   [blog Sic Semper Tyrannis]

by Oui on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 09:26:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not secured by Malaysian authorities, just temporarily under Dutch watch on the train journey towards Kharkiv, the two boxes will be handed over to Atlanticist and Obama's best ally David Cameron (@DavidCameron). Where is the guaranteed international commission of experts?

Of course, the British have nothing to lose or gain by the Ukraine debate and pushing NATO's boundaries eastward. Cameron is the ideal son-in-law ... for the Murdochs et al.

 « click for more info
UK Government Security Services Organised Crime and Carroll Foundation

OSCE monitors try to secure Ukraine plane crash site

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) arrived in the Ukraine over the weekend to begin assisting their Ukrainian counterparts with the official accident investigation into the loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.

British Experts To Examine MH17 Black Boxes

While he's at it, Cameron will renew the push for a [new] investigation into the death of Litvinenko, a KGB spy. Or was he a British or Spanish intelligence officer, or perhaps in time held all those positions. What was the hold-up, why now?

Just wondering, the British aviation experts from Farnborough, or with some other intelligence assets, to determine the result of the downing of MH-17?

by Oui on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 01:49:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the Ukrainian fighter plane didn't shoot it down?  

There is no reason to believe, without evidence, the Ukrainian story that the airplane was shot down specifically by a Buk missile fired by the separatist fighters.  

I mean really, you are just drinking the Ukrainian koolaid!  

--Gaianne  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 10:54:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok this is from US officials - take it for what you consider it is worth:
MH17: Rebels likely shot down jet `by mistake', US officials say

The officials said that their assessments were backed up by evidence from social media and by intercepted conversations of known pro-Russian separatists, whose voice prints had been verified by US agencies.

The speakers initially bragged about shooting down a transport plane, but later acknowledged that they might have made a mistake, the officials said.

And

MH17: Rebels likely shot down jet `by mistake', US officials say

US officials said earlier that satellite data showed a plume of smoke left in the missile's trail that allowed analysts to calculate a launch area near the Russia-Ukraine border. They also said infrared sensors detected the explosion of the jet.

Who pulled the trigger?

The US intelligence officials said they did not know at this stage who had actually fired the missile.

"We don't know who literally was operating the system that day but more generally we have the picture of evidence that says the Russians have been providing these types of systems, the Russians have been providing training," said a senior US administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The intelligence officials said they had reports that as many as a dozen aircraft had been fired on from separatist-controlled areas during two months of fighting between the Ukrainian government and rebel forces. Two were large transport planes, the officials said.

Most if not all of the aircraft which had been targeted had been flying at low altitude. When it was hit the Malaysian airliner was at 33,000 feet (10km).

The intelligence officials said the US did not know that the separatists were in possession or control of SA-11 missile systems until after the Malaysia Airlines plane was struck.

At least they are getting quite specific in their allegations...

MH17: Rebels likely shot down jet `by mistake', US officials say

The US intelligence officials dismissed Russian assertions that the plane may have been brought down by a surface to air missile fired by Ukrainian government forces, or by a Ukrainian government warplane.

They said the air-to-air missile theory was backed by little or no evidence, and that while the Ukrainian government has had access to SA-11 missiles, there was no evidence they had deployed them anywhere near the region where the plane crashed.

The intelligence officials said that for several weeks the United States had been tracking the movement by Russia of large amounts of weapons, including tanks, armored personnel carriers and multiple-launch rocket systems, across the border.

The officials also said that rebels were being trained at a large military base near the city of Rostov in southwestern Russia.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 23rd, 2014 at 05:25:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Department really counts for zero.  

If they are accidentally telling the truth, fine, but that would be abnormal--and totally unlike the run-up to the last three wars-of-choice.  

--Gaianne  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Wed Jul 23rd, 2014 at 03:07:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't that them throttling down the tone? It's become a mistake rather than a purposeful act of terror?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Jul 23rd, 2014 at 05:18:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
what I write.  

  1.  It smells like a false flag.  

  2.  The US lies routinely, more often than not, as shown by recent history--Iraq, Syria, etc.  

  3.  Both the US and Russia know what happened to the Malaysian Airlines flight.  

  4.  We don't.  

I think that summarizes what I have been saying over the course of several posts.  

--Gaianne  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Thu Jul 24th, 2014 at 08:41:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  1. It smells like an accident of war that all sides are trying to use to gain propaganda advantage or minimise damage to their own side

  2. All sides, and especially in time of war, lie to cover up mistakes or to damage or mislead the enemy

  3. By far the most plausible scenario is that it was shot down in error by a Buk/Sam missile, most probably operated by Russian trained Ukrainian insurgents/federalists from near the Russian border.  Ukraine did not have Buks in the area and it is doubtful their planes had the capability to shoot down such a large, high flying airliner.

  4. We may never find out definitively what happened.

  5. The incident underlines how there are unlikely to be any winners from the current armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine, and it would be in the interests of all sides (with the exception of US neo-cons and arms manufacturers) to de-escalate the conflict and work towards a negotiated solution which would include, inter alia:
i) Respect for the territorial integrity of Ukraine (minus Crimea)
ii) Respect for the distinct cultural and socio-political aspirations of Eastern Ukraine including a degree of local autonomy within Ukraine
iii) Respect for Russia's concerns regarding encroachment by NATO et al which probably means that Ukraine would declare itself to be a neutral state working with both sides
iv) The EU limiting itself to a trade relationship with Ukraine or a joint EU/Russia/Ukrainian economic development plan for Ukraine
v) finding a way to demobilse/marginalise the "boys with toys" who thrive in a conflict situation and who are a danger to ongoing peace. This includes putting NATO back in its box.

It's been done before...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jul 25th, 2014 at 01:43:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You forgot the probably most important point: Kiev to abandon all attempts to enforce "competition" and austerity and other quack idiocies on the eastern districts.

The prospect of the eastern heavy industry, which is nominally "unprofitable" and "uncompetitive" (because Kiev is attempting to prop up a blatantly fictional exchange rate), being East Germanized was a major concern with the EU "trade deal." East Ukraine will need credible guarantees that their livelihoods will not be sacrificed to prop up the luxury goods imports of Kiev oligarchs.

This is a guarantee that Kiev cannot credibly provide, which is why a peaceable unified Ukraine is, at the present time, in my view a pipe dream.

I also think that it is more than a little naive to imagine that Ukraine can maintain favored trade relations with both Russia and the EU. Trade union is a precursor to political union. Always and everywhere.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jul 25th, 2014 at 02:37:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The issue of what economic policies a post conflict Kiev regime should pursue is best determined by a democratic structure which ensures all key interests, regions, and industrial sectors can articulate their views into the policy formation process.  The problem in the past has been that it has been something of a zero sum game favouring either the west or the east at the expense of the other.

The development of stronger more positive relationships with both the EU and Russia can also facilitate that outcome.  Stronger trading relationships don't equal trading Unions and have not, historically, invariably  resulted in political unions, although I for one, would not oppose a stronger trading relationship between the EU and Russia as well, despite my central thesis (in the Diary) that the EU needs to reduce its dependency on Russian gas.

We need to get away from absolutist positions favouring one side over the other (also my problem with Gaianne apparently ascribing much more credibility to Russians denials than US accusations). The problem of increasing inequality with oligarchs enriching themselves at the expense of the populace is, if anything, more of a problem with the Russian system than with the EU.

The danger is that either Russia or the EU or both will seek to basically plunder the Ukraine, and the development of a strong Ukraine polity with secure democratic foundations and a functioning public policy making process is one of the best ways for mitigating if not entirely preventing that.

In a continuing war scenario, the needs and interests of almost all Ukrainians have no means of articulating themselves into public policy making as the process will be dominated by central and local warlords and their henchmen and the overriding concerns about security. The development of a comprehensive peace treaty signed by all key players is almost a prerequisite for the (slow and painful) emergence of a functioning democracy and policy making process.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jul 25th, 2014 at 04:49:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank Schnittger
"I for one, would not oppose a stronger trading relationship between the EU and Russia as well, despite my central thesis (in the Diary) that the EU needs to reduce its dependency on Russian gas."

It's not one or other blogger that is 'absolutist', that prize goes to the capitals of Kiev, London, Moscow and Washington DC.

There is an extreme propaganda war raging of lies, half-truths, desinformation and subversion. None is helpful to find a common denominator to the benefit of the Ukrainians. East Ukraine doesn't want to be part of Russia, that has been clear from the coup d'état moment on February 28.

The Russian speaking population wants their minority rights upheld in some form of autonomy and existing economic ties with Putin's Russia. Hundreds of thousands cross the border daily for their livelihood in the Russian Republic. The Rights Sektor should return to its cage and stop aggressive military action using tanks and fighter planes to shell cities in eastern Ukraine.

The protocal agreed upon between the EU and the Kiev government to end hostilities when Yanukovish was ousted, should be the basic document for negotiations with leaders from both east and west Ukraine. Outside politicians should butt out, at least not dictate their terms for a deal. Military action in a civil conflict will not bring the parties together. As I posted before, the oligarchs will remain, they just switch sides. The people already living in misery will suffer by a prolonged conflict.

In the US on CNN for example, the rhetoric has moved to the next phase: War with Russia. Good luck with choosing sides.

For a knowledgable view on the Ukraine crisis follow Matthew Rojansky and Mark Kramer.

My latest post - Mark, Don't Ever Complain Again! [Rutte]. [caught up in the neocon rhetoric from Washington]

by Oui on Fri Jul 25th, 2014 at 06:30:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ukraine is really not in a position - economically, politically or geographically - to play Hong Kong to the EU and Russia, nor do the hooligans currently running the show display any of the skills required to successfully do so.

Which means Ukraine is going to end up in one power or the other's orbit.

Further, the problem with a comprehensive peace plan for a unified Ukraine suffers from the serious problem that the Kiev regime has every reason to believe that Russia will refuse to honor any outcome it does not like, and the federalists have been given plenty of reasons to believe that the Kiev regime will not honor any agreement consistent with the continued existence of the eastern oblasts as functioning industrial societies. And nobody in their right mind would believe a single word out of Bruxelles, Berlin or Washington at this point.

These issues, as well as the fact that both sides view their counterparts as fundamentally illegitimate, are potentially solvable issues. It's been done before, after all, with sides were the mistrust was far more entrenched and reasonable.

But it'll require considerable legwork before you can even start arranging the conference room, let alone have people sit down and talk.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jul 25th, 2014 at 02:15:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ukraine is not exactly a jewel in the crown for either the EU or Russia but is capable of being a major headache for both.  So it is not beyond the capabilities of the adults in the room - in this case Putin and Merkel - to come to an agreement as to it's future status, and then knock heads together as required at local level. From my limited knowledge the shape of such an agreement could look something like this:

  1. All sides guarantee the territorial integrity of Ukraine (minus Crimea)

  2. Russia agrees to disarm the federalists in return for an degree of autonomy for eastern provinces and security/economic/minority rights guarantees.

  3. A long term agreement on gas prices and transit fees.

  4. A three way trade deal covering other, non military trade.

  5. No encroachment by NATO.

  6. Whatever other sweeteners in the form of bribes, aid, industrial development, investment etc. as are required to buy off any key players not happy with the above.

A huge amount of trust isn't really required to make this work once the major players decide it's in their interest to make it work. Russia gets its annexation of Crimea formally recognised, an end to sanctions, and a long term trade agreement and "special relationship" with the EU. Germany gets trade and investment opportunities in a more stable environment as well as more energy security. Ukraine gets a degree of peace and stability and the means to enforce same. Everybody gets to cut busybody neocons out of the picture.  It's not easy, but pretty standard peacecraft.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jul 25th, 2014 at 04:19:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
2 is going to be the sticking point, since this is where somebody has to start making credible security guarantees.

And given the involved parties' history, they really can't credibly guarantee that water will be wet.

As a minimum, you'll need to revisit the military command structure, to ensure that all minority groups (except the fascists) are sufficiently well represented across all levels and chains of command that the military cannot be captured by one faction or another. Oh, and you'll need to disarm the fascists, both in the military and out.

That last one is gonna be a sticking point as well, given that the fascists are quite well represented in the Kiev government.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jul 25th, 2014 at 04:29:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are plenty of East-European nations who joined NATO as rapidly as they could, and to Moscow's chagrin - exactly because NATO got these nations a little further away from the sphere of Russian influence. I heard much in the same vein during my visit to Lithuania past December.

Considering Russia's aggressive expansionary actions the past decade, it wouldn't be surprising when the Ukraine governments who favour close ties to the EU might also just favour joining NATO.

by Bjinse on Fri Jul 25th, 2014 at 05:01:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They might indeed, but they have missed the boat. I can't see Russia agreeing to disarm the Federalists if there is still a chance of Ukraine joining NATO.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jul 25th, 2014 at 05:10:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And it looks like the US is pushing it:

Washington Is Escalating the Orchestrated Ukrainian "Crisis" to War -- Paul Craig Roberts - PaulCraigRoberts.org

Title III deals with military and intelligence assistance for Ukraine, putting Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova on a NATO track, expediting US natural gas exports in order to erase European and Eurasian energy dependence on Russia, preventing recognition of Crimea as again a part of Russia, expanding broadcasting (propaganda) into Russian areas, and again "support for democracy and civil society organizations in countries of the former Soviet Union," which means to use money to subvert the Russian federation.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jul 25th, 2014 at 05:41:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wouldn't harbor any illusions that Eastern Ukraine is not going to be East-Germanised. The current unrest may just be the last stand against the inevitable, because the alternative appears to be failed statehood or something like that and heavy industry is not going to persist in that environment.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jul 25th, 2014 at 05:33:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect if you offered East Ukrainians the prospect of being "East-Germanised" they would bite your hand off as they are unlikely ever to receive the sort of net transfers of wealth which has eased the pain of the East German transition - even with both Russia and the EU acting as net political benefactors which is unlikely to happen to a sufficient degree.  I don't know enough about the East Ukrainian industrial base to comment knowledgeably on the specifics, but all industries have a limited shelf life and need to transform themselves if they are to survive either in a globalized economy or even in a protective national one.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jul 25th, 2014 at 06:26:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not to mention the ability of East Germans to work anywhere in the EU. Just imagine if Ukrainians could all come to work in the UK....
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Jul 25th, 2014 at 06:41:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Then why did Eastern Ukraine reject the association agreement with the EU?

Must be that Germany has no intention to extend free movement of workers to Ukrainians (EU membership is off the table, "association" is free movement of capital, goods and services but not people) and, even if Ukraine joined the EU, Germany would keep Ukrainian workers out for 7 years like they did with the 2004 and 2007 entrants.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jul 25th, 2014 at 07:07:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps when/if the UK leaves the EU (and perhaps when Scotland secedes) the UK can come to mean the United Kingdom of England and the Ukraine enjoying the benefits of a free trade area without "Brussels bureaucracy" "interference". England needs an empire, not a community of equals...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jul 25th, 2014 at 07:32:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What happens to Wales?  
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Jul 25th, 2014 at 07:34:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It becomes a theme park.

N. Ireland becomes an urban guerrilla training centre of excellence.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jul 25th, 2014 at 07:42:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
to the notion of an air-to-air missile?

There is no reason to believe, without evidence, the Ukrainian story that the airplane was shot down specifically by a Buk missile fired by the separatist fighters.  

Right now, the available physical evidence and analysis based on it, strongly proposes a surface-to-air strike, notably consistent with a SA-11 (Buk) missile:  

Jet Wreckage Bears Signs of Impact by Supersonic Missile, Analysis Shows - NYTimes.com

It is impossible from these photographs of the damaged plane to determine what specific model of missile was used. But the SA-11 is a member of a class of weapon that carries a fragmenting warhead with a proximity fuze. If a missile like that functioned as designed, it would cause damage like that evident in the debris of Flight 17.

...

His observations were consistent with the profile of surface-to-air antiaircraft missiles designed to destroy fast-moving military aircraft at high elevations.

Trace analysis of the wreckage should be able to determine the exact missile-type.

I'd agree that there is no information from unbiased sources yet which would able people to pinpoint the exact location from where the missile was launched.

But at this stage, anyone who wants to debate air-to-air missile strikes, or involvement of an Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet, should first debunk the above analysis.

by Bjinse on Wed Jul 23rd, 2014 at 05:48:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well the obvious wartoy-geek question surely then is: Do fighters deploy similar fragmenting ordnance?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Jul 23rd, 2014 at 06:04:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yup. Only way you can take down a plane, really.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Jul 23rd, 2014 at 06:13:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's one Russian air-to-air missile deplayable on the Su-25 fighter jet and with a proximity fuze: R-60 (missile) (Wikipedia)
The R-60 was initially developed for the MiG-23. Work began on the weapon, under the bureau designation K-60 (izdeliye 62), in the late 1960s. Series production began in 1973. It entered service with the designation R-60 (NATO 'Aphid-A').

When introduced, the R-60 was one of the world's lightest air-to-air missiles, with a launch weight of 44 kg (97 lb). It has infrared guidance, with an uncooled Komar (Mosquito) seeker head. Control is by forward rudders with large rear fins. The distinctive canards on the nose, known as "destabilizers," serve to improve the rudders' efficiency at high angles of attack. The R-60 uses a small, 3 kg (6.6 lb) tungsten expanding-rod surrounding a high explosive fragmentation warhead. Two different types of proximity fuze can be fitted: the standard Strizh (Swift) optical fuse, which can be replaced with a Kolibri active radar fuse. Missiles equipped with the latter fuse were designated R-60K.[2]

According to Russian sources,[which?] practical engagement range is about 4,000 m (4,400 yd), although "brochure range" is 8 km (5.0 mi) at high altitude. The weapon was up until recently[when?][clarification needed] one of the most agile air to air missiles, and can be used by aircraft maneuvering at up to 9g against targets maneuvering at up to 8g. A tactical advantage is the short minimum range of only 300 m (330 yd).

Note the Su-25 is a late-70's fighter plane.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 23rd, 2014 at 06:19:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Colman linked this in his frontpage story, but equally relevant here:

Can the Su-25 intercept and shoot down a 777? | Locklin on science

If a Su-25 was firing missiles at a 777, this is probably what it was using. The R-60 is also an IR guided missile, though some of the later models use radar proximity fuzing.  Unlike the K-13, this is a modern missile, and it is more likely to  have hit its target if fired. Why is it unlikely? Well, first off, it is unlikely the Ukrainian Su-25s were armed with them in the first place: these are ground attack planes, fighting in a region where the enemy has no aircraft. More importantly, the R-60 has a tiny little 6lb warhead, which is only really dangerous to fragile fighter aircraft. In 1988, an R-60 was fired at a BAe-125 in Botswana. The BAe-125 being a sort of Limey Lear jet, which weighs a mere 25,000lbs; this aircraft is 20 times smaller than a 777 by mass. The BAe-125 was inconvenienced by the R-60, which knocked one of its engines off, but it wasn't shot down; it landed without further incident. A 777 is vastly larger and more sturdy than any Limey Lear jet. People may recall the KAL007 incident where an airliner was shot down by a Soviet interceptor. The Su-15 flagon interceptor which accomplished this used a brobdingnagian K-8 missile, with an 88lb warhead, which was designed to take out large aircraft. Not a shrimpy little R-60. The R-60 is such a pipsqueak of a missile, it is referred to as the "aphid."
by Bjinse on Wed Jul 23rd, 2014 at 11:00:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for this.  It seems to me that a lot of people with very little specialist military knowledge are doing an awful lot of speculating about how the plane might have been shot down by Ukraine without having sufficient background to justify such speculation. I have also read that the Su-25 can only stay at 33,000ft. for a short period of time so stories of it flying alongside seem unlikely.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 23rd, 2014 at 11:07:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also, apparently Donbass builds (or built) SAM batteries for the Russians. Might be quite a lot of local expertise available.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Jul 23rd, 2014 at 12:31:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The main problem with the Su-25 being at the height that it's claimed is that as a ground attack aircraft, it apparently has no presurisation or oxygen system for flight at altitude, and so If the aircraft was to be flying at that height, its pilot would be unconcious in very short order

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jul 29th, 2014 at 05:38:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am no expert either, which is why I seek out those that may be.  The following is enough for me to remain skeptical:
Parry goes on to hark back to the very strange briefing given to journalists on 22 July about the evidence obtained by U.S. intelligence:

'The Los Angeles Times article on the briefing took note of the uncertainties: ''U.S. intelligence agencies have so far been unable to determine the nationalities or identities of the crew that launched the missile. U.S. officials said it was possible the SA-11 [the Buk anti-aircraft missile] was launched by a defector from the Ukrainian military who was trained to use similar missile systems.''

'That reference to a possible ''defector'' may have been an attempt to reconcile the U.S. government's narrative with the still-unreleased satellite imagery of the missile battery controlled by soldiers appearing to wear Ukrainian uniforms. But I'm now told that U.S. intelligence analysts have largely dismissed the ''defector'' possibility and are concentrating on the scenario of a willful Ukrainian shoot-down of the plane, albeit possibly not knowing its actual identity.'

The 'possibly', of course, would suggest that the 'false flag' hypothesis has not been simply ruled out.



"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Tue Aug 5th, 2014 at 12:02:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Analysts analyze. That's what they get paid for. And when analysts are short on data they substitute speculation, and then analyze the speculation.

This is not as dumb a strategy as it sounds, since it lets you react faster once you do get data which permits you to discriminate between the different assumptions going into the different scenarios.

It does mean, though, that those scenarios need not be probable, or even rational. After all, Langley has more budget than it can possibly spend rationally preparing for probable contingencies.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Aug 5th, 2014 at 03:13:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a bunch of pictures of damage on the side of the aircraft, major holes appear at the side of the crew cabin and some of the same sides wing. This suggests that the missile warhead, if it was  the small type suggested would need to be  much closer to the side of the cabin, for the damage to be as shown. For impact to occur at this point  the missile version would either need to be fired from in front, fired from the rear, it would have found the two large Turbofans a much more promising target as a small and simple IR missile, And the Russian story is that the aircraft were behind. the other option is that the missiles were radar guided, and the interception would need to be done  by an aircraft with a radar system. Unfortunately the SU-25 has no air interception radar.

I don't think the observed damage on the aircraft fits the Russian story

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jul 29th, 2014 at 05:56:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From Col. Pat Lang's Blog:
The explanation which Robert Parry suggests is actually different. It begins with the argument - made on this blog by 'TTG', who has an abundance of relevant expertise on these matters - that the suggestion that MH17 was shot down by the Su-25 plane which the Russians have claimed was in its vicinity at the time of the shootdown cannot simply be dismissed.

Moreover, the suggestion from Parry is that U.S. intelligence analysts are treating seriously a theory which appears to have been disseminated on state-controlled Russian media, according to which the intended target was Putin.  This hypothesis was dismissed by the 'Guardian' as an 'unfounded theory', which did indeed seem a reasonable response at the time.  However, what Parry is now suggesting is that U.S. intelligence analysts are no longer convinced it can simply be dismissed.

According to Parry:

'Some independent analyses of the initial evidence from the crash site suggest the jetliner may have been destroyed by an air-to-air attack, not by an anti-aircraft missile fired from the ground. Yet, the working hypothesis of the U.S. intelligence analysts is that a Ukrainian military Buk battery and the jetfighters may have been operating in collusion as they hunted what they thought was a Russian airliner, possibly even the plane carrying President Vladimir Putin on a return trip from South America, the source said.'



"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Tue Aug 5th, 2014 at 12:17:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because former KGB officers are surely in the habit of flying over war zones full of people who hate them, and which can easily be circumnavigated, in planes which do not come equipped with countermeasures for foiling heat-seeking missile systems or onboard radar-guided dog-brains.

I will concede that it is possible that Kiev believed that this is the case (which is what would matter to their decisionmaking process). After all, the new regime is not precisely known for being a wellspring of intelligence (or sanity). But it is not a hypothesis which comes equipped with a whole lot of prior probability.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Aug 5th, 2014 at 03:07:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unless you belong (or once belonged) to the actual intelligence community, I will defer to Col. Lang's colleages. Lang who, as I'm sure you know, graduated from the U.S. Army War College, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the Armed Forces Staff College. He is a decorated veteran of several of the United States' overseas conflicts. During the Vietnam War, he served in the Special Forces and Military Intelligence.  At the Defense Intelligence Agency, he was the Defense Intelligence Officer (DIO) for the Middle East, South Asia and counter-terrorism, and later, the first Director of the Defense Humint Service.[5] At the DIA, he was a member of the Defense Senior Executive Service. He participated in the drafting of National Intelligence Estimates. From 1992 to 1994, all the U.S. military attachés worldwide reported to him. During that period, he also briefed President George H. W. Bush at the White House, as he had during Operation Desert Storm.

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Tue Aug 5th, 2014 at 07:12:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
With the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine turning a local civil war into a U.S. confrontation with Russia, U.S. intelligence veterans urge President Obama to release what evidence he has about the tragedy and silence the hyperbole.
Prepared by VIPS Steering Group

William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)

Larry Johnson, CIA & State Department (ret.)

Edward Loomis, NSA, Cryptologic Computer Scientist (ret.)

David MacMichael, National Intelligence Council (ret.)

Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst (ret.)

Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East (ret.)

Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (Ret.)

Coleen Rowley, Division Counsel & Special Agent, FBI (ret.)

Peter Van Buren, U.S. Department of State, Foreign Service Officer (ret.)

Ann Wright, Col., US Army (ret.); Foreign Service Officer (resigned)

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne

by maracatu on Wed Aug 6th, 2014 at 08:45:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are those dark bullet-like spots typical of SA-11 as well?

"should first debunk the above analysis" is not a court standard. The Americans said they have no definite proof for SA-11.

by das monde on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 02:33:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
would court standards matter? You're not in a court.

I nowhere wrote there is definite proof yet. I see no arguments or evidence, and certainly I haven't heard a peep from you, why the above analysis should be discarded. Feel free to pitch in with something useful.

by Bjinse on Fri Aug 1st, 2014 at 01:01:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is not a matter of sigma6 discovery either.There is only so much in that analysis.
by das monde on Sat Aug 2nd, 2014 at 10:25:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I see no arguments or evidence, and certainly I haven't heard a peep from you, why the above analysis should be discarded. Feel free to pitch in with something useful.
by Bjinse on Sat Aug 2nd, 2014 at 12:42:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"dark bullet-like spots" was a peep, no?

Other than that, the more interesting thing here is about discarding meta-argumentation (a court or physics?) rather than a default hypothesis.

by das monde on Sat Aug 2nd, 2014 at 06:46:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I actually had questions here to goad you for less amorphous replies. Until I realised I'm wasting my time with your tin foiled responses.
by Bjinse on Sat Aug 2nd, 2014 at 07:47:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How much tin foiled points did I score?

No apologies for not submitting to yours frame though.

by das monde on Sat Aug 2nd, 2014 at 08:34:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oui:
What was the purpose of an Ukrainian Su-27 fighter jet flanking the MH-17 passenger plane.

You denounce propaganda, rumour and lies, but you take that unproven Russian allegation for fact?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 04:21:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now, it is okay to ask questions, but this is already more evidence than the Americans are offering.  

--Gaianne  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 10:55:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who says it was on civilian radar?

If the Russians have evidence that a Ukrainian fighter was "flanking" MH17, why aren't they making more fuss about it in their own media destined for international consumption (which is what I'm looking at)? And if they have evidence that MH17 was shot down by a Ukrainian fighter, why aren't we hearing about it loud and clear?

In fact, Russia is not claiming MH17 was "flanked" by a Ukrainian SU-25, and it is not speaking of civilian radar either. From Russia Today:

US intelligence: No direct link to Russia in Malaysia plane downing -- RT USA

The Russian military has presented information that a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter had been gaining altitude in the direction of the Malaysian Boeing prior to the catastrophe. According to military monitoring data outlined by chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Andrey Kartopolov along with chief of the Air Force Main Staff Lt. Gen. Igor Makushev this week, Russia is concerned about a number of unanswered questions surrounding the downing of the jet.

"Russian monitoring systems registered that there was a Ukrainian Air Force jet, probably Su-25, climbing and approaching the Malaysian Boeing," said Kartopolov.

"The Su-25 was 3-5 km away from the Malaysian plane. Su-25 is capable of climbing to the altitude of 10,000 meters for a short period of time. Its standard armament includes R60 air-to-air missiles, which are capable of locking and hitting targets from 12 km and which are guaranteed to hit the target from the distance of 5 km."

They claim an SU-25 was 3-5km away, and they say climbing and approaching, and they hint at the technical possibility of this fighter firing on MH17. They are "concerned about unanswered questions".

This incident took place close to the Russian border, in territory that has almost forever been subsumed into Russia itself. It is not credible that Russia has insufficient or vague monitoring of the area. If this (alleged) fighter downed MH17, it is certain that they would know about it and would have been accusing Ukraine clearly from Day One, and making sure the crash site was immediately open to inspection (which was not the case).

In fact, as I noted elsewhere (here based on Monday morning's media here), Russian English-language media, unlike during the Maïdan period, have been strangely on the back foot over MH17.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jul 23rd, 2014 at 02:47:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
but they are not going to divulge military information, ever.

And they are not going to do empty posturing either.  

Why do you think Russians would act like Americans?  They have never done so.  

And on this point your whole argument falls apart.  

--Gaianne  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Wed Jul 23rd, 2014 at 03:03:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you want to review your last few comments in thread and compare them to this one? Your lack of consistency disturbs me.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Jul 23rd, 2014 at 05:19:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Push is coming to shove...

I don't think this is about whether Putin rocks or sucks, but about whose propaganda arm is more efficient.

Oceania (USA/EU) is attacking Russia because they can. Nato is the hegemon's chief tool, but behind them is the real axis mundi, corporate control of resources.

Oceania has accumulated a global military supremacy unheard of outside science fiction, and there was a game plan for this 20 years ago once they couldn't get us scared about Russia any more, they were too busy corrupting Russia with teh capitalism and teaching them the tricks of the game, speculation, property bubbles, globalisation of markets. Empoverishment of the many for the sake of a few. Fake democracy, militarisation even.

They were into that last one already, (and ruthless suppressors of their own opposition) so no lessons needed there.

Who benefits from Russia gearing up her military? Wonder of wonders, EU arms exporters! Cameron and Hollande selling Russia the rope to hang herself with just as some commie philosopher or other predicted back in the day.

They are counting on Putin not going rogue and nuking someone, so the let the brinkmanship games begin!

In so doing, they are backing Putin into a corner, a corner where his only road to saving international face is to go rogue as in conventional weapons theatre he knows he loses.

Appallingly cynical statecraft, you might aver, and you'd be right! It's the old MAD doctrine, the ultimate fear button they've been dying to repush ever since the Berlin wall came down. Putin is no sockpuppet of Oceania's interests so he has to be taken down because Leviathan can never rest on her laurels, must ever expand willy nilly, the nature of the corporate beast, expand or die, the mantra of Empires.

Why Russia first, not China? Because killing Putin's only chance to earn international currency defunds his connections needed to be top dog at home, his pet mafia state. Twofer! Humiliate him militarily through proxy Ukraine or force him to go all Strangelove on us. This guy cannot survive this. His tough-guy facade is vital for him to fill the strongman role needed to govern a territory so huge and keep it to heel. Killing oppositional journalists is helpful, but not enough. He has so far kept his cool, merely pointing out inconsistencies in the foaming Oceanic media slamfest, and pretty politely to boot.

Why Russia first? China's too far and Walmart still too profitable. Selling slavemade geegaws to dwindling middle classes still has a few years first-world business cycles left to run. Less so in Yurp, so it's time to up gas prices and sanction Putin so Europe's capacities to arm him founder along with any uppity Euro arms biz not henched to the Hegemon. Don't like it? Well this drone's for you! (Hint, it's not that shiny new I-Whatever you ordered from Amazon).

So we start with Russia and Putty Pu. Suddenly he's the new Saddam for not being obligingly, putti-fariously putty in Oceania's paws. We let Russia taste the joys of luxury capitalism and they sure don't want to go back to cheap vodka and breadlines after seeing Paree (and buying London). Putin has to produce for his oligarch mob or the long knives come out for him.

Polonium pie, it's not just for tea at the Dorchester any more.

Having China watch as Russia takes it in the shorts will do wonders for the arms trade there, but they can't catch up to Oceania's massive hardware advantage even if they try, and they will, because national pride. At least without breaking their own economy by devolving all the capital into an arms race they're decades behind in, which already worked tidily in bringing down ye olde USSR, remember. They can keep their mystery meat/rock-crusher sales going through the Pacific sea-lanes, while European pensioners die of cold because Putin haz a sad for Gazprom profits and/or some lunatic division in Ukraine has turned those precious pipelines into overcooked spaghetti carbonara.

Meanwhile in the Middle East...

Someone else write the next chapter, new plotpoints needed!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Jul 24th, 2014 at 01:31:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You say there was a civilian radar source. I show you that, from Russian international media itself, it was a deliberate and clearly-identified military communiqué. You tell me the Russians never divulge military information.

Then the conclusion from your argument is that the Russian military are quite willing to lie in the cause of making their country look bad.

It's not a point you're making, it's a statement of blind faith.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jul 24th, 2014 at 02:01:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is ample reason (as argued HERE) to remain skeptical.

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Tue Aug 5th, 2014 at 01:05:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well the American info fits the stuff that we found whilst looking into this

The Group of Bloggers Unearthing MH17 Intel Quicker Than U.S. Spies

In the frenzy to determine who -- and what -- shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, a group of citizen journalists armed with simple intuition and an Internet connection has been collecting information more nimbly than American spies.

On Tuesday, U.S. intelligence officials admitted that while it's true that Russia has been arming pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine for months, no proof exists that the Buk SA-11 surface-to-air missile launcher, which Washington says took down the plane, was Russian. (However, a Ukrainian rebel leader confirmed that pro-Russian separatists had the Buk missiles.)



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jul 29th, 2014 at 06:02:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wait, you're part of that swarm? I've not been involved but have closely followed the analyses, mostly via Twitter and Henk van Ess (a former teacher).
by Bjinse on Tue Jul 29th, 2014 at 06:28:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suppose Peter Jukesof phone hacking trial fame is the link.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 29th, 2014 at 06:31:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No I met Elliot at a Hacked Off party I was invited to, but there is a link between the three of us and a couple of others

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jul 29th, 2014 at 07:04:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yes although I'm more on the media and hacking side, (but do ask questions generally)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jul 29th, 2014 at 07:07:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by das monde on Tue Jul 29th, 2014 at 07:58:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for this.  This is the first time I have read compelling evidence that it may have been a Ukrainian fighter jet after all.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 30th, 2014 at 06:12:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 30th, 2014 at 07:12:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bullet holes eh? So how do the Ukrainian-fighter advocates explain the clear unequivocal shrapnel damage?

I suppose they don't have to. It could have been bullets and a missile. But that's not a very economical explanation.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Jul 30th, 2014 at 08:27:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It could have been, of course. When were those pictures taken? Things lying around on a battlefield tend to acquire bullet holes.
by generic on Wed Jul 30th, 2014 at 10:39:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm dubious about the bullet hole story, the holes appear small for 30mm GSH, which is what the aircraft carries, plus it tends to carry a load of mixed AP and HE rounds. The HE ones,  tend to blow holes in aircraft skin big enough to put your head through. I've seen photos of similar calibre and velocity impacts  on civilian type aircraft from the 1950's, and the result looks like the aftermath of pulling a Christmas cracker.

I'd want a lot more pictures of the opposite side of the aircraft so we could trace  the line of flight of the AP projectiles in one side and out the other. For them the Cockpit should be pretty close to the consistency of fog, so we should get matching holes you would think, unless something very solid intervened.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jul 30th, 2014 at 06:14:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That cockpit picture showed up in a few days. Tracing web article should be worthwhile.

Here are several close-up pictures. And WSJ has mapped the pieces.

by das monde on Wed Jul 30th, 2014 at 07:48:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's been said again and again on this blog that, if Europe has got a complaint about Russia, the remedy is in its own hands: reduce dependence on Russian gas.

That means energy efficiency, energy sobriety (an end to waste), and a transition to indigenous energy sources. That is sort of EU policy, but how can you really implement that kind of policy when your guiding light is free-market competition?

 

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 04:17:58 AM EST
and European Investment Bank(s) are already financing such renewable energy projects.

coordinated supergrid will take time to come into its own, given the current fascination with decoupled, free-market ownership of transmission assets.

For example, the hugely important northern German grid is owned by a tiny Dutch company incapable of administering the current grid, much less investing and building what's necessary.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 05:12:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you impose progressively higher import duties (under the guise of sanctions) on Russian energy imports, then even the "free market" will start switching to alternative energy sources, provided the market is convinced this is a longer term policy and not just a short term knee-jerk reaction to the crash.

Much of what I propose is already happening to some degree - as noted by Crazy Horse below.  The point of this diary is that it needs to happen on a far faster, greater, more coordinated and integrated scale.  If "sold" as part of a more positive, proactive, response to the Ukraine crisis, and as a necessary strategic response to improve energy security and economic independence, then even "marketista" objections can be overcome.

As noted in by Mig, I too am skeptical of the political efficacy of the (very limited) sanctions imposed to date especially when they also hurt U economies.  Far better to do something big and constructive to boost EU economies and serve notice of Russia that a lot of work needs to be done to rebuild trust.

None of this is to take from the rather obvious fact that the US/EU hardly has clean hands in all of this, and that many of Putin's actions are understandable in the context of Western attempts to encircle and undermine his regime. I'm suggesting that rather engage in further tit-for-tat destructive measures, it would be far better for the EU to promote its own energy self-sufficiency (and thereby also force Russia to diversify away from a largely energy driven economy).

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 05:55:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
afew: "how can you really implement(effective  renewable) policy when your guiding light is free-market competition?"

Fossil fuel incumbents and their hirelings must be politically marginalized and the reality of 'free-market competition' must be made clear to a much larger portion of the population.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 09:10:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Most renewable plans rely on natural gas for spinning reserves to get a reliable grid. Of course.. oh, look, its a 99 tonne radioactive elephant in the living room .. the EU certainly could knock off a bunch of reactors in a hurry if it really wanted. It isn't like there is a shortage of skilled construction labor looking for employment..
by Thomas on Sat Jul 26th, 2014 at 01:16:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(a) You don't run gas plants as spinning reserves.
(b) Nuclear has bigger load-balancing problems than renewables, since the renewable portfolio overall correlates with consumption patterns. If your nuclear fleet is allowed to overbuild by 50 % and balance with ammonia synthesis for fertilizer production, then my renewables portfolio should be allowed to overbuild by 30 % and balance with methane synthesis for my emergency gas backup.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Jul 26th, 2014 at 04:26:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are examples of mostly nuclear grids working. A fair few of them.
There are examples of geothermal and hydro based grids working in places with a sufficient abundance of those resources.
I would fully expect a drive to base a grid off solar in north africa to work.
There are no examples of "renewables" forming the foundation of a working grid in any location not blessed with strong and consistent harvest-able energy flows. There are lots of examples of the promise of that happening keeping fossil fuel magnates in business. 40 years of examples. And more examples of attempts to iceskate up this hill driving electricity prices through the roof with no significant reduction in carbon intensity whatsoever. Denmark and Germany do not have clean grids. Not compared to France and Sweden. In fact, that comparison makes this quest look like a horrid, horrid failure.

Do you never stop and worry that you are being a useful idiot for interests that care not at all about the future of the planet, but only about how much money they can make digging carbon out of the ground?

by Thomas on Sun Jul 27th, 2014 at 01:30:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany and Denmark do not have ideal wind, wave or solar resources.  By comparison, Ireland, Scotland, south eastern and Mediterranean EU states have.  The whole point of a European supergrid is to optimize the utilization of the renewable natural resources of the entire continent.  Most renewable technologies are still in a state of rapid evolution  - modern wind Turbines are vastly more efficient than 30 years ago, solar panels have become vastly cheaper, and wave technology is only in its infancy. Again, the whole point of a Europe-wide strategy is to accelerate R&D, disseminate best technologies, generate economies of scale, and reduce unit prices.  None of this is to say that safe Nuclear cannot also be in the mix, and certainly will be at least for the lifetime of existing plants.  However we are only beginning to explore the potential for renewable technology to substitute for carbon sources, and this can best be done on a continent wide, location and source optimized  basis.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jul 27th, 2014 at 03:35:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany and Denmark do not have ideal wind, wave or solar resources.
You clearly have not seen the wind on the West coast of Jutland.

Also, both of them have rights to parts of the North Sea for offshore wind.

Finally, if Germany can produce so much energy from solar, Spain should be able to do it, too. So the obstacles are political.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jul 27th, 2014 at 03:55:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
You clearly have not seen the wind on the West coast of Jutland.

Haven't been there since childhood, so no. Not sure how average windspeeds compare to west coast of Scotland and Ireland. Certainly offshore North sea is a good resource, but you have to factor in the increased offshore costs.  But can off-shore North Sea provide a large proportion of total German consumption?

Spain has no excuse for not being virtually fully sustainable with solar and wind combined with some load balancing with France.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jul 27th, 2014 at 07:46:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Onshore:

Offshore:

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jul 27th, 2014 at 08:48:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for this. Hadn't realised north west Denmark was quite so window, although as it doesn't have much in the way of hills and ridges, I suspect it is at the bottom end of the dark brown scale.

Interesting wind hotspot off the French Riviera.

When flying over Spain I am surprised at the number of wind turbines and relative lack of solar farms.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jul 27th, 2014 at 09:10:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That spot on the Languedoc coast is due to the incoming wind off the Med, that the Romans called altanus and modern French calls l'Autan. It's over a nice handy continental shelf. France is doing, um, not much about using it.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jul 27th, 2014 at 09:28:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It would probably spoil the view for a lot of millionaire mansions on the Cote Azur...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jul 27th, 2014 at 10:24:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not the Nice etc end. The Languedoc coast is low-lying and not particularly picturesque. Not high-worth-tourist real estate.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jul 27th, 2014 at 10:58:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank Schnittger:
I suspect it is at the bottom end of the dark brown scale

Dark brown and dark blue: and see the "at a sea coast" column.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jul 27th, 2014 at 09:37:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Great map. Its interesting, I life in region with an insane wind building activity, but on the map it is only green. But maybe it is because land is relatively cheap.

Our Wirtschaftsministerium actually claimed that all German energy needs can be covered be onshore wind only.

by rz on Sun Jul 27th, 2014 at 02:23:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It probably can.

But while it can be occasionally interesting to test some hypothesis in the limits like that, nobody sensible would advocate a 100 % anything grid. You want a mixed energy portfolio, for much the same reason you want a mixed investment portfolio, a mixed diet, and a mixed staple crop portfolio.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jul 27th, 2014 at 03:15:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the context of a European supergrid, there is no way a grid could be anything but mixed, and the bigger the grid the more mixed it is.  For instance the Sun rises in Bulgaria c. 3 hours before Spain, and the average diameter of a depression is 500 to 1000 miles and so it is likely that e.g. Spain is windy when Scotland is not.  The building of a supergrid would also reduce the requirement for national grids to have large overcapacity to provide for maintenance/downtime/breakdowns and unusually calm or cloudy weather.  In that context, legacy power stations would provide more than enough load balancing capacity for a very long time to come.

A European wide mixed energy source portfolio therefore probably doesn't need the addition of any carbon based power stations for the foreseeable future.

However there is also a need to increase the proportion of electricity utilization as a % of the total energy mix though e.g. battery, ultra-capacitor, and fuel cell operated transport (which in themselves will offer load balancing capabilities if charged mainly at off-peak times.

I'm sure there are models somewhere which work out how much electricity the EU will need depending on GDP growth rates and changes in energy efficiency, conservation,  and the energy portfolio mix.  I suspect wind and solar alone could provide any incremental energy required for a very long time to come even after factoring in the closure of legacy plants which have reached the end of their lifespan.

So in a real sense, all new capacity can be renewable

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jul 27th, 2014 at 05:33:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But "all new capacity should be renewable," while an excellent intermediate objective, is far from sufficient.

30 years ago, or even 20 years ago, it would probably have been sufficient, if coupled with a strong definition of "new" capacity (so as to prevent "life extending" "upgrades" of existing carbon-burners). But that window has closed now.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jul 28th, 2014 at 09:12:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jul 28th, 2014 at 09:54:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because we're approaching the point where we'll need negative emissions to avoid major catastrophes.

Reducing emissions, let alone slowing the increase in emissions just isn't going to cut it at this point (though it is obviously superior to business as usual).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jul 28th, 2014 at 10:05:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are examples of mostly nuclear grids working. A fair few of them.

Then you should have no problem naming them.

France is not one - it load balances against Germany, so about a third of its electricity is carbonated (conversely, about 15-20 % of Germany's electricity is nuclear, even after they shut down their own nukes).

Sweden is does not have a nuclear grid. Going by energy mix, it has a hydro-based grid.

There are no examples of "renewables" forming the foundation of a working grid in any location not blessed with strong and consistent harvest-able energy flows.

Europe has plenty of harvestable energy flows. Harvestable energy flows are not the issue.

Meanwhile, the bar for running nuclear plants in terms of governance is very, very high. It is basically only possible to run nukes safely within a strongly dirigist political culture and with a very strong civil service, and then only some of the time.

Which means Denmark is out; our civil service simply is not that competent. It means most of Eastern Europe is out; too many far-right psychopaths running around too close to the levers of power to be able to give credible guarantees that the generation infrastructure will not be privatized. It means most of Southern Europe is out; for much the same reason. Germany might be able to nuke its grid, but the German political consensus believes in crackpot Hayekian fairie tales, so they are not going to actually do it.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jul 27th, 2014 at 06:07:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You do realize you changed what defines what a grid is based on mid sentence there?
Anyway, it isn't a very interesting question. The actual question that matters is "what are the extant examples of grids with no significant amount of carbon burning in them".
The examples I can think of off the top of my head to that is:
Norway, New Zeeland, Iceland: All hydro, all geothermal.
Sweden, France, Several provinces of Canada, Switzerland. Hydro / fission mixes one and all.

This is the point where I get really itchy when people claim sun and wind make nuclear unnecessary, because there are simply no examples of that working in the real world. Not even in countries with vastly superior solar and wind resources.

If solar is such a viable option, how come it isn't the  basis of the tunesian electricity grid right now? Because just going by the correlation between power demand and sunlight, and annual solar insulation, solar ought become economically competitive with fossil fuels in north africa about.. 15 years before it is so in germany. Maybe more. So logically, either investors are leaving billions of euros in profits on the table (It's a possibility! I am not much of a believer in market efficiency) or solar is as much vapor ware as it ever was.

by Thomas on Mon Jul 28th, 2014 at 10:50:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If solar is such a viable option, how come it isn't the  basis of the tunesian electricity grid right now? Because just going by the correlation between power demand and sunlight, and annual solar insulation, solar ought become economically competitive with fossil fuels in north africa about.. 15 years before it is so in germany. Maybe more. So logically, either investors are leaving billions of euros in profits on the table (It's a possibility! I am not much of a believer in market efficiency) or solar is as much vapor ware as it ever was.
That's a question of political economy, not of engineering.  

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jul 28th, 2014 at 11:12:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The price of electricity from solar energy has been dropping exponentially for 30 years now. It is the only energy source with this type of improvement. Most probably this is because of spill-overs from the gains from the semiconductor industry.

 

by rz on Mon Jul 28th, 2014 at 11:42:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's what I am basing the 15 years comment on. Price has been dropping by 20% year on year. North africa is.. well, quite frankly, ridiculously better placed to use solar than europe is. Vast stretches of very cheap land with much more reliable and much more intense solar influx than anything we see at our latitudes. Add in the facts that there is much less seasonal variation in either power consumption or solar flux, and that power demand correlates positively with solar intensity... For any given solar cell, the economics will be much better in north africa. Precisely how much better would take a fair bit of work to determine, but it's a factor of at least 4. So, if you are expecting solar to be viable here any time soon, it should be viable there right this second. in fact, it should have been viable there 8 years ago if you think solar is in any way relevant to near term energy planning in europe. And. Uhm. Not so much.
by Thomas on Mon Jul 28th, 2014 at 11:58:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, if you are expecting solar to be viable here any time soon, it should be viable there right this second. in fact, it should have been viable there 8 years ago if you think solar is in any way relevant to near term energy planning in europe. And. Uhm. Not so much.
Well, I saw Desertec being pitched to the European Parliament in the autumn of 2007. Why hasn't it gone anywhere?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jul 28th, 2014 at 12:02:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I googled alittle an found this Article explaining the lack of investment in solar energy in africa.

But look, I think it is pretty clear why nobody invests in north africa at the moment. I mean the civil war in Lybia is still ongoing, and all other countries are also unstable.

by rz on Mon Jul 28th, 2014 at 02:15:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that is the key point for any European Supergrid: political stability and secure economic/contractual relationships all round. If we are concerned with the implications of being too dependent on Russian gas, how does replacing in with N. African solar improve the situation? solar farms and power lines would be very vulnerable to military action.

Germany and France relying on each other to load balance coal and Nuclear relies on confidence that the Franco-German political relationship will always be secure and stable.  Thus a European Supergrid would be a living embodiment of EU political union  and economic integration - with Germany relying on Spanish solar and Scottish wind - and there will come a time when many national grids simply couldn't meet demand at all times without increasingly larger imports from other grids.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jul 28th, 2014 at 04:46:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If solar is such a viable option, how come it isn't the  basis of the tunesian electricity grid right now?

The answer is in the question. No doubt you chose Tunisia as your example because it is slowly groping towards democracy and stability.  But for business investors, that's not good enough. My assessment is that the risk of either violent regime change or democratic expropriation of investments in Tunisia is actually quite low, but the big money is cautious about weak-looking regimes. No doubt the previous generation of strongmen would have had no difficulty attracting investors, but Ben Ali, Ghaddafi and Mubarak were all too stupid. As are the Algerians.

No, Morocco is the place for large-scale rollout of solar. They also have a very decent wind resource which they are starting to get serious about.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Jul 29th, 2014 at 04:56:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One should also note that e.g. Algeria has lots of gas, Libya has oil, and so on. This makes investment into renewable energy unattractive.
by rz on Tue Jul 29th, 2014 at 05:02:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For the short-sighted, sure. You can't sell renewable electricity in competition with practically-free hydrocarbon-based energy, but that's because of stupid political decisions about national energy pricing. The Emirates and the Saudis are starting to get serious about renewables; I suppose because they have capital coming out of their ears, they are obliged to plan for the long term.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Jul 29th, 2014 at 05:11:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thomas:
I would fully expect a drive to base a grid off solar in north africa to work.

You know why that project probably went tits-up?

Because any innumerate twit would have realised Europe doesn't need to import electricity from Africa seeing as it has S. Spain, S. Italy, S. France, Greece already with enough almost-free GW of unpicked low-hanging fruit.

Bit hard to justify all that undersea hardware, not to mention international bureaucratic deal-cutting when the answer was under our damn noses all the time, right to hand, (with all the attendant job-creating benefits to boot).

Head... meet keyboard!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Aug 1st, 2014 at 06:27:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That and political instability.  It's rather easy to blow up power lines

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 1st, 2014 at 06:34:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Add to that the idiocy of getting rid of energy dependence on Russia to exchange it for energy dependence on North African countries. There are sovereign states there, not just vague regions inhabited by fuzzy-wuzzies. And there is no reason why those states (former colonies all) should easily and painlessly grant Europe a free lunch.

Freeing Europe of energy dependence means developing indigenous energy sources: wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, in Europe.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Aug 2nd, 2014 at 05:14:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ES was more concerned with getting validation from Serious PeopleTM than being smart in its own way.
by das monde on Fri Aug 1st, 2014 at 08:34:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wasn't actually thinking of desert-tech.
That project has political difficulties, and also requires a grid on a completely unprecedented scale. The question is: Among all the nations which contains equatorial deserts, why do none of them use solar for as much as matching their own daytime peak demand?

This is an absurdly low bar to clear.

Most of them are currently using stupidly expensive power sources to produce the electricity they use. Gas turbines, or out and out diesel engines. This is the kind of kit which could be trivially re-purposed to backup duty for the very rare day without sufficient sun and the fuel saved exported for hard currency.

They also do not have seasonal variation in demand running counter to the seasonal supply of sun, and in fact, a good chunk of their power demand correlates very directly to the sunshine - because a lot of electricity is being used for cooling. So up to a quite high percentage of penetration, solar in these nations has no need for backup to be built, reduce the need for load balancing capacity... Basically, if solar tech is anywhere in the vicinity of technical maturity, in these places, it ought to be a license to print money.

And yet, solar is strangely not omnipresent along the equator. In fact, it is not being used by any of these nations to any significant degree at all. That is a pretty heavyhanded hint that solar is still bloody useless. Or are we supposed to believe its an international conspiracy to act against their own economic self-interest? Remember, fossil fuels they burn they cant sell, and in any case, the entire equatorial belt doesn't all have any fossil resources!

by Thomas on Sat Aug 2nd, 2014 at 06:00:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The one thing I have learned traveling through African countries is that poverty doesn't equal lack of resources, it equals huge mismanagement and waste of resources.

I have seen hospitals with huge stocks of badly needed and expensive medicines let them go out of date unused for lack of a functioning inventory, stock control and stock release authorization procedures. I have seen Nurses "share" antibiotic prescriptions between patients so that it becomes ineffective for all and just increases bacterial resistance to the drug.

I have seen lots of expensive prestige projects for rulers fall into disuse when that leader is deposed.  The trains in Malawi regularly stop running because someone didn't pay or diverted the money for the fuel bill.

Many villages get their power from a dirty inefficient diesel generators which are totally uneconomic to run. Black-outs and brown-outs are common and can have huge costs in spoilage etc.

As you say, sustainable wind or solar power would be almost ideal in many of these areas, provided you had good physical grids, grid management and load balancing processes.  

The problems aren't technical, but political, and lack of training and expertise all round. Integrating solar and wind into a grid requires some pretty sophisticated software and management capabilities.

It will happen, but it will take time.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Aug 2nd, 2014 at 06:38:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mismanagement, ineffectiveness, indebtness are all natural consequences of social-political-economic domination. Other things staying idle, hierarchal instincts sneak into different scales. In particular, most of new technology, expertise does not come easily or cheaply to civilization gammas. Rather contrary, a lot of misleading roundabouts are offered.

To expect that "it will (just) take time", deepness of Westen (un)willingness to really let the third world to cath up should be analyzed.

by das monde on Sat Aug 2nd, 2014 at 10:47:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My comment "It will happen, but it will take time" wasn't an attempt at an analysis of post colonial development barriers and opportunities - which is another subject entirely.  It was just a short hand way of expressing optimism because I have also seen lots of positive developments which I didn't instance in the comment.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Aug 2nd, 2014 at 11:30:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence (email):
Towards sanctions

There have been several reports yesterday that the EU was preparing the next round of sanctions against Russia. Peter Spiegel (@SpiegelPeter) tweeted that EU ambassadors had been summoned to an emergency meeting on Ukraine yesterday afternoon. EU foreign ministers are due to meet in Brussels this morning.

Frankfurter Allgemeine reports that German support for economic sanctions against Russia was increasing quoting German economics minister Sigmar Gabriel as saying that the economic concern - important as they may be - should not be decisive. He said another round of sanctions against Russia would now be likely. But the paper says the EU would still not agree to target entire sectors. But it is possible that Gazprom might be targeted in the next round. The paper quotes the chairman of the Bundestag's foreign affairs committee, Norbert Rottgen, CDU, as saying that the EU was late in its response and had allowed a vacuum to arise. The purpose of sanctions is to be forward looking, not to be punitive. Handelsblatt reports that another senior CDU MP expressed outrage at a recent defence deal by France to sell Mistral helicopters to Russia.

In another article Frankfurter Allgemeine notes a disconnect between the Russian fear of sanctions, which is high, and the Western expectation that sanctions will actually happen. The Russian equity market has not collapsed but has been trending steadily downwards, having lost 6% over the last week. The article quotes a former Putin adviser as saying that if the EU passed financial sanctions against Russia, the economy would collapse within six weeks.

There has naturally been a lot of commentary on this story. Wolfgang Munchau writes in his Spiegel column that the first thing the German should do is to ask Gerhard Schroder to resign from the Nord Stream pipeline project in response to the atrocities that have resulted from Vladimir Putin's policies. He writes that eastward orientation of the German economy has gone too far, and that it was now in the country's strategic interest to correct that imbalance quickly. He says Germany should support further sanctions against Russia, notably in the area of energy and finance.

Clifford G. Gaddy and Barry W. Ickes from the Brookings Institute doubt that sanctions will be effective in influencing the action of Putin and the Russian elites in general.

"It is a fallacy to assume that Russia will respond to sanctions the same way that we would. We cannot simply project our own preferences onto Russians. (After all, if Russians had our preference structure, they would not have annexed Crimea in the first place.) Whether it is the idea that Vladimir Putin cares more about his personal wealth than Russia's national security, or that ordinary Russians who see their living standards decline as a result of sanctions will mechanistically direct their anger against Putin rather than the West -- many of the assumptions underlying the West's sanctions policy are flawed, to say the least."
The authors say that sanctions will damage the Russian economy. But our assumption is that the economic costs would lead to a change in political preference by Russian voters is mistaken.
"...if the motivation is defense of vital national interests and survival, Russia -- like any state -- will resort to import substitution and even more radical sorts of interventions to defend itself, no matter what the cost."


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 04:42:55 AM EST
Der Spiegel (can't remember German or english site) had an article on sanctions effect on the German economy. Already noticeable effect.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 05:15:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
'Only losers in economic war with Russia' - The Local

German businesses are lobbying hard against imposing tougher sanctions on Russia after the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, warning more sanctions would hurt the country's exports and threaten German jobs.

One in four German companies doing business abroad are already feeling the consequences of current sanctions, according to the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK).

Companies doing business in both Russia and the United States are particularly affected, DIHK foreign trade expert Volker Treier told the Rheinische Post on Monday.

"The different sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union force export companies to evaluate each individual contract separately," Treier said.

"We expect a decline in exports to Russia of ten percent," Treier added in the Süddeutsche Zeitung on Tuesday. "That is a €4 billion drop. That loss hits us hard."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 08:57:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was curiuos about this writer's say - not bad.

(Limited capabilities for copy & paste on an iPad for a couple of weeks, sorry.)

by das monde on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 09:10:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a lot of reportage and conspiracy theorizing to the effect that if Obama/neo-cons (take your pick) are major beneficiaries of the catastrophe, then they must have been behind it in one way or another.

Another  line of attack is that since the Kiev regime has continued a military offensive against the separatists, then they are directly or indirectly responsible.

It seems to me that it is in neither the Ukraine's, the EU's or Russia interest to have an ongoing war there. What is needed is some kind of "Government of national unity" to broker some kind of peace which includes a great deal of regional autonomy.

Russia needs to be satisfied that Ukraine is not going to become a stalking horse for NATO on it's doorstep. However the Ukrainian government, of whatever stripe, can hardly be expected to do nothing whilst there is a major armed insurrection on its territory.  It either tries to fight and win the war, cedes Eastern Ukraine to Russia or to an independent state, or tries to come to an accommodation with the separatists both sides can live with.

Neo-coms in the USA, on the other hand, want to divide and conquer Russia/EU and thus see the escalation of Russian/EU tensions over Ukraine as a marvelous opportunity.

However none of this speaks to who actually downed the airliner - and I suspect this was a mistake made by insurgents who didn't have the technology to clearly identify the airliner as a civilian non-combatant plane.

What matters now, is how the main players respond. I suggest the EU should ignore the neo-con attempt to capitalize on the tragedy and work towards a peaceful solution within Ukraine and with Russia. The politics within Ukraine have become so poisoned, I suggest the less direct involvement the better.

I doubt sanctions can make a major contribution to this. Better to get our own sustainable energy self-sufficiency issues addressed.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 10:10:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank Schnittger:
I doubt sanctions can make a major contribution to this. Better to get our own sustainable energy self-sufficiency issues addressed.

Who controls Ukraine has Putin's worst feared sanction: the shutdown of his milk-cow operation feeding European industry needs for fuel in return for mucho Euros for his fossil fool buddies and his cut too.

By treating Putin as the sole rogue, they flirt with maybe (actually?) leaving him no choice but to fulfill their prophecy.

Will he start banging his shoe soon? Does Obama think he's doing a JFK?

McCain would have nuked Moscow by now... Paging Peter Sellers!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 11:27:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
McCain would have personally flown Airforce 1 to Ukraine and would even now be taking charge of securing the site and conducting the crash investigation.... Meanwhile Palin would be looking out her window in Wasilla for any Russian activity across the Bering Straight. Secretary of State Richard Perle would be secretly organising the airlifting of several NATO divisions to Kiev.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 01:32:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank Schnittger:
Better to get our own sustainable energy self-sufficiency issues addressed.

Ya think? :)

That would be the only silver lining indeed!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 11:31:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
By partners in the Atlantic Council and NATO, an aggressive anti-Russia policy. The U.S. wants to pivot its forces to Asia and Europe should take care of its own defenses. What was lacking after the Soviet Union dissolved, the boogey man. It took a while, Putin fits the picture just fine. Great opportunity to keep selling those U.S. military goods to the fools in Europe. What no more war? It's 100 years ago since the outbreak of the slaughter in the trenches of Europe. I am an optimist pur slang, these days with the turmoil in the Middle East and the impending confrontation with Putin's Russia gives me great worry.

US NATO ambassador Ivo Daalder on containment of Russia making it a pariah state
NATO Declares Russia Nr. 1 Adversary, Starts Troops Buildup In Central Europe
Longing for the Bush Era with Richard Perle - June 2001

    But last week, Perle spoke with the same cautious optimism prevalent at Saturday's Bush-Putin summit. U.S. attempts to build a new "constructive relationship" with Russia are long overdue, he said, adding that the Cold War ended long ago and it is strange that the process has proceeded so slowly.

Negotiations over top EU positions reach stalemate over deep division on Ukraine and Russia policy

Decision on successor to Ashton as EU foreign policy chief delayed due to competing candidates in the running for EU's top positions.

(NRC.nl) - On policy towards Russia and expansion eastwards into Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic states insist on their candidate Neocon hawk Radek Sikorski. The moderate nations support the new Italian FM Federica Mogherini.

Well you know Biden's son needed a nice position in the Ukrainian gas industry and Joe gets around, one of his soul mates is Hashim Thaci.

by Oui on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 11:23:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Another regular writer on this high-d chess.
by das monde on Thu Jul 24th, 2014 at 04:08:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The MH17 tragedy may have been a horrendous mistake. But it may also have been a desperate gambit by the Kiev minions of the Empire of Chaos

It might also have been aliens.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jul 24th, 2014 at 06:54:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or lizards.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jul 24th, 2014 at 06:55:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The interesting paragraph is about Germany.
by das monde on Thu Jul 24th, 2014 at 11:08:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In Europe, everything hinges on Germany. Especially after the National Security Agency scandal and its ramifications, the key debate raging in Berlin is how to position itself geopolitically bypassing the US. And the answer, as pressed by large swathes of German big business, lies in a strategic partnership with Russia.


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jul 24th, 2014 at 12:05:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
THE ROVING EYE

An extreme traveler, Pepe's nose for news has taken him to all parts of the Pepe Escobar globe. He was in Afghanistan and interviewed the military leader of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, Ahmad Shah Masoud, a couple of weeks before his assassination (Masoud: From warrior to statesman , Sep 11, 2001). Two weeks before September 11, 2001, while Pepe was in the tribal areas of Pakistan, ATol published his prophetic piece, Get Osama! Now! Or else ... (Aug 30, 2001). Pepe was one of the first journalists to reach Kabul after the Taliban's retreat, and more recently he has explored and reported from Iraq, Iran, Central Asia, US and China.

Note, Earth is now "the Pepe Escobar globe".

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jul 24th, 2014 at 06:56:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
(After all, if Russians had our preference structure, they would not have annexed Crimea in the first place.)

ROFLMAO

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Jul 23rd, 2014 at 09:46:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And if we had had the Russian preference structure we would never have invaded Iraq in the first place. This argument doesn't help with Afghanistan.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Jul 23rd, 2014 at 09:51:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it's the Brookings Institute...

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 23rd, 2014 at 10:03:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 04:43:45 AM EST
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 05:59:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 06:00:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The ITRE Committee of the European Commission is in session from 3pm...

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/ep-live/en/committees/video?event=20140722-1500-COMMITTEE-ITRE

    Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:00 - 18:30
        2.0 Adoption of agenda
        3.0 Approval of minutes of meeting of: (PE532.297)
        4.0 Chair's announcements Confirmation of the calendar of meetings for the remainder of 2014 Approval of the linguistic profile Feedback from the Coordinators'
        * * *
        5.0 (ITRE/8/00686) Communication on the European Energy Security Strategy, Presentation by the Director-General Dominique Ristori, European Commission
        6.0 (ITRE/8/00600) General budget of the European Union for the financial year 2015 - all sections
        7.0 (ITRE/8/00682) ITRE delegation to the ACER agency in Ljubljana (19-20 March 2014), Debriefing
        8.0 (ITRE/8/00683) ITRE delegation to Venice and Milan, Italy (26-28 March 2014), Debriefing
        9.0 Briefing by the European Commission on TTIP negotiations (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership)(ITRE/8/00684) TTIP negotiations
        10.0 Any other business
        11.0 Next meetings (ITRE(2014)0901_1) Mon, 1 Sep 2014

The link to the live Windows Media stream is http://live.europarl.europa.eu/asx/ext/channel09.asx

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 10:07:04 AM EST
Unfortunately no simultaneous translation available online.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 10:16:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll post the link to the version with simultaneous interpretation later.

Personally, I only have trouble with the Greeks...

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 10:24:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Briefing by the European Commission on TTIP negotiations (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership)(ITRE/8/00684) TTIP negotiations
The Chief negotiator missed the meeting, so no debate.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 11:11:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, he was just late... TTIP is on.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 11:16:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Speaking of TTIP, one regularly hears of estimates of the many Billions the participants to a trade deal stand to make out of the agreement.  How robust is the methodology underlying those estimates and how much analysis is there of who actually gains those benefits?

The benefits of globalisation seems to have gone almost exclusively to the 1% and have therefor increased relative poverty if not absolute poverty.  Also sweatshops in Bangla Desh and elsewhere are often justified on the grounds that locals would be even worse off without the employment generated by these contractors to global conglomerates - i.e. in the absence of globalisation.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 01:39:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Speaking of TTIP, one regularly hears of estimates of the many Billions the participants to a trade deal stand to make out of the agreement.  How robust is the methodology underlying those estimates and how much analysis is there of who actually gains those benefits?
Ordinary macroeconomic forecasting makes astrology look respectable by comparison.

Gains from trade are higer-order effects.

If you believe those estimates, then I have some Enron common stock you may be interested in.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Jul 22nd, 2014 at 01:45:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The whole idea runs directly counter to the entire point of the eu, which is free trade moderated by common rules set at the level of the trade zone. In other words, if the USA wants free trade with the union, they can bloody well file to join. Short of that, they can bugger off.
by Thomas on Sat Jul 26th, 2014 at 01:20:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is the WTO not there to regulate trade, and are there not many trade deals between sovereign states who may or may not have deeper political links?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jul 26th, 2014 at 05:34:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]

EIB-Chef Hoyer fordert Milliarden-Investitionen in Europa

In english: Head of the EIB Hoyer calls for  Billions in Investment in Europe.

It is from an interview in Die Zeit.

by rz on Wed Jul 23rd, 2014 at 02:09:57 PM EST


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 23rd, 2014 at 05:22:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You missed the next line
Die könnten private Kapitalgeber finanzieren.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Jul 23rd, 2014 at 05:28:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What is a German doing at the helm of the European Investment Bank?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 23rd, 2014 at 05:29:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To make sure that the money goes to reliable partners. They shouldn't waste it on projects in places where they can't finish an airport, train station, or even a concert hall on time and on budget. I'm talking about Greece, of course.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Jul 23rd, 2014 at 05:36:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a Bundesbank conspiracy.
by IM on Wed Jul 23rd, 2014 at 06:20:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eet iz our money so vy schudent ve kontrol how eet iz spent?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 23rd, 2014 at 06:38:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Basically he is just your typically washed out minor german politician dumped on brussels. A right-liberal too, but that is just an accident: It was simply their due.
by IM on Thu Jul 24th, 2014 at 02:55:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FDP? That doesn't inspire confidence.
by rz on Thu Jul 24th, 2014 at 03:38:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You mean there is no room left on the board of the Deutsche Bahn?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Jul 24th, 2014 at 03:48:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I had to check the original article because I didn't believe it - not that I didn't believe that he said it, but that I didn't believe Die Zeit reporting it. Now I do.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Jul 23rd, 2014 at 05:30:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fortunately Ireland has a number of publicly owned utilities - electricity and peatlands which are technically commercial entities ("semi-state") and which might pass the test of not constituting "state aid" if given access to large amounts of EIB capital.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 23rd, 2014 at 05:37:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure that irritates me too, but better private investment then no investment.
by rz on Thu Jul 24th, 2014 at 01:04:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I also liked the article because previously I did not know that something like the EIB exists. The EIB is exactly the instrument you would need to make Franks plan a reality.
by rz on Thu Jul 24th, 2014 at 01:09:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You should follow Varoufakis. The EIB is a key part of his Modest Proposal.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Jul 24th, 2014 at 01:26:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An interesting project mentioned in the comment section of the blog you linked to: the EuroAsia Interconnector.

Especially since we are talking about energy here.

by rz on Thu Jul 24th, 2014 at 04:07:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We're ruled by idiots.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jul 24th, 2014 at 01:19:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Worse... concupiscent, neo-conneries, malefic idiots.

Starting with Barroso, De Rompuy and Ashton.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Aug 1st, 2014 at 06:51:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe what we need is the right kind of leader, one who can ignite our imaginations to the challenge.  In response to the perceived Soviet "threat" posed by Sputnik, JFK issued his famous (or infamous, depending on how you look at it) challenge to America, and as a nation we responded.  In the space of a decade we went from "Spam in a can" to footprints on the Moon.  

It was an enormous gamble, at great cost, but we pulled it off.  And the returns, both economic and technological, have been exponential.  Not just for the US, but for the world. I can only imagine what returns we might see if someone could ignite the collective imagination of Europe to take on Frank's challenge.

Now where are we going and what's with the handbasket?

by budr on Wed Jul 23rd, 2014 at 02:33:48 PM EST
If I imagine Jean-Claude saying "don't ask what europe can do for you, as what you can do for europe" than it sounds suspiciously like a call for more austerity to me.

But actually, the benefits of changing our energy infrastructure would much more direct then the benefits of the space program.

by rz on Thu Jul 24th, 2014 at 01:54:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
" than it sounds suspiciously like a call for more austerity to me."

I always wonder what Kennedy meant.

by IM on Thu Jul 24th, 2014 at 02:50:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wikiquotes says that " In his speech President Kennedy urges American citizens to participate in public servic"
by rz on Thu Jul 24th, 2014 at 04:10:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, immensely so.  And the potential returns even greater, as in saving our plant and maybe our civilization.


Now where are we going and what's with the handbasket?
by budr on Thu Jul 24th, 2014 at 11:16:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As a general rule, European leaders don't do the vision thing: they're too busy trying to stay on top of the greasy pole. The decision making processes are too complex; too many compromises are required.  The one leader with the position and standing to launch a major initiative - Angela Merkel - has made a fetish of developing the "Merkel Method"....

Germany and the euro: The Merkel method | The Economist

At home she is cautious, sceptical of government's ability to change things, solicitous of allies and quick to cut down challengers. Despite preaching change to other EU countries, she is no radical reformer. Indeed, she has pulled the CDU leftward, partly out of conviction but also to create more coalition options and steal votes from the Social Democrats. In the euro crisis she has favoured small, slow steps. When she is in doubt or gets conflicting advice, her instinct is often to do nothing.

All very well when everything in the garden is rosy ... not so great when there are existential crises which must be dealt with.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jul 24th, 2014 at 12:46:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Indeed, she has pulled the CDU leftward

This is true. But be careful here, the fact that in Germany she doesn't practice what she preaches is actually the best thing you can say about her.

by rz on Thu Jul 24th, 2014 at 02:35:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Separatists had BUK missile system, rebel leader admits

In an interview with Reuters, Mr Khodakovsky blamed the Kiev authorities for provoking what may have been the missile strike that destroyed the doomed airliner, saying Kiev had deliberately launched air strikes in the area, knowing the missiles were in place.

"I knew that a BUK came from Luhansk. At the time I was told that a BUK from Luhansk was coming under the flag of the LNR," he said, referring to the Luhansk People's Republic, the main rebel group operating in Luhansk, one of two rebel provinces along with Donetsk, the province where the crash took place.

"That BUK I know about. I heard about it. I think they sent it back. Because I found out about it at exactly the moment that I found out that this tragedy had taken place. They probably sent it back in order to remove proof of its presence," Mr Khodakovsky said.

"The question is this: Ukraine received timely evidence that the volunteers have this technology, through the fault of Russia. It not only did nothing to protect security, but provoked the use of this type of weapon against a plane that was flying with peaceful civilians," he said.

"They knew that this BUK existed; that the BUK was heading for Snezhnoye," he said, referring to a village 10km west of the crash site. "They knew that it would be deployed there, and provoked the use of this BUK by starting an air strike on a target they didn't need, that their planes hadn't touched for a week."

"And that day, they were intensively flying, and exactly at the moment of the shooting, at the moment the civilian plane flew overhead, they launched air strikes. Even if there was a BUK, and even if the BUK was used, Ukraine did everything to ensure that a civilian aircraft was shot down."

Separatists had BUK missile system, rebel leader admits

Mr Khodakovsky is a former head of the "Alpha" anti-terrorism unit of the security service in Donetsk, and one of the few major rebel commanders in Donetsk who actually hails from Ukraine rather than Russia.

Mr Khodakovsky seems to claim a lot of knowledge of what the Ukranian authorities "knew", however his account raises the possibility that the BUK missile was fired at a Ukrainian fighter but "acquired" MH17 instead in error.  It also points to the irresponsibility of having civilian airliners flying over a war zone.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 23rd, 2014 at 08:00:09 PM EST
If the Ukrainian authorities "knew" everything Mr Khodakovsky claims they knew, including the missile launcher location, it would have seemed more logical for them to attack the missile launcher rather than attack what he implies was a low value target.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 23rd, 2014 at 08:03:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I saw the Reuters article and thought that stinks to heaven. I'll need to check who is this guy Alexander Khodakovsky. I was quite busy with the topics of MH-17 - impressive day of mourning in The Netherlands - and posting about the Gaza incursion by Israel's IDF. When I had time for it, I saw the article has already been taken apart @MoA and Khodakovsky 'denied' that is what he said to the Reuter correspondent.

Ukraine: Reuters Interviews Benedict Arnold: "Rebels Had BUK, Downed MH17"

by Oui on Thu Jul 24th, 2014 at 12:59:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wondered how a rebel/Federalist commander could get away with saying what it is claimed he said. I guess we'll have to be patient and await the results of the full investigation.  However I have still not read a convincing account that it was NOT the rebels/Federalists who (however inadvertently) shot down MH17.

M of A - Ukraine: Reuters Interviews Benedict Arnold: "Rebels Had BUK, Downed MH17"

As it leaves out the most important fact, the interviewed guy is no longer with the federalists but now works for Kiev, the Reuters interview is just a part of the U.S. managed information campaign against the federalists and against Russia. Unfortunately few will ever hear of that and are therefore likely to believe the false claims.

Update:

RIA now has (in Russian) a somewhat fishy denial of the Reuters interview by an anonymous spokesperson of Khodakovsky. Machine translation:

Donetsk, July 23 - RIA Novosti. Battalion commander "East" Alexander Khodakovsky denies that he spoke in an interview with Reuters on the alleged use of militias in eastern Ukraine system "Buk", said RIA Novosti on Wednesday a source close to the commander.

"I did not say anything like" Reuters "and I have a recording of a conversation" - quoted the spokesman Khodakovskogo words.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jul 24th, 2014 at 04:32:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wondered how a rebel/Federalist commander could get away with saying what it is claimed he said.
I am reminded of Dmitry Orlov's Social Collapse Best Practices, which is based on his study of the post-Soviet space:
Security has to take into account that prisons will be emptied (by stages, preferably), overseas troops will be repatriated and released, and cops will go corrupt. You will have a surplus of mentally unstable people skilled with weapons. There will be crime waves and mafias, but you can rent a policeman, hire a soldier. Security becomes a matter of local collaboration. When the formal legal structure breaks down, adaptive improvisation can be pretty efficient.
(My emphasis)

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jul 24th, 2014 at 05:18:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Thu Jul 24th, 2014 at 05:55:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's too soon to say whether the people buried there were victims of a crime. Several local residents believed the bodies came from the nearby morgue. At the time the bodies were allegedly dumped, there was no electricity in parts of Sloviansk, which would have caused a problem for refrigeration facilities used to store bodies in the morgue. When the women asked the insurgents who was being buried, the insurgents said they were unidentified bodies.

According to the two neighbors, later that evening the insurgents brought two priests to the grave, who seemed to be saying a prayer over the burial site.

Among the police, forensic experts, and journalists standing around the grave witnessing the exhumation, there were several local residents searching for loved ones who went missing when insurgent forces controlled Sloviansk. One woman said that insurgent forces had abducted her husband in May. She said that he called her on May 21 to say goodbye. He said that the insurgents were holding him and they would execute him in 15 minutes. The next day she identified his body in the morgue, but the insurgents refused to give her the body for burial. Another person standing around the burial site, a man in his thirties, said that he was looking for his friend who got into a fight on the street and was then picked up by the insurgents. Nobody has seen him since.



A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jul 25th, 2014 at 09:03:30 AM EST
US says Russia massing troops near Ukraine

The United States has accused Russia of massing troops near Ukraine and preparing to give a high-tech missile system to separatist rebels fighting there, as Moscow and Kiev traded allegations of shelling each other's territory.

As Russia's condemned Washington's alleged "smear campaign" against it, the country's powerful investigative committee - which answers to President Vladimir Putin - claimed Kiev's troops had tried to kill Russian law enforcement officers with mortar fire.

Douglas Lute, the US ambassador to Nato, told a security conference yesterday there were now "over about 15,000 Russian troops amassed along the border with Ukraine".

It's time Merkel/the EU and Putin took the initiative and stopped the US neo-cons running the show. Whatever provocations are happening close to the Ukraine/Russia border need to be damped down. If the Kiev forces and local militias can't be trusted to do this, perhaps an international peace keeping force - perhaps including neutral UN forces and disciplined Russian troops reporting direct to Putin, but emphatically not including NATO should be considered.  The US does not have the locus standi to have boots on the ground anywhere near the Russian border.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jul 26th, 2014 at 06:00:57 AM EST
It's time Merkel/the EU and Putin took the initiative and stopped the US neo-cons running the show.
You're forgetting all the Central/Eastern European EU states, led by Poland and the Baltics.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jul 26th, 2014 at 09:02:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not really. But they are relatively minor players in this particular drama. The German Russian economic and political relationship is absolute core to resolving the broader Russian/Ukraine/EU/Nato conflict. No doubt Merkel will consult widely, and proceed cautiously, as is her wont, but she has the political clout to bring allof the EU and most of Nato with her whilst Putin has the stature in Russia to make a deal stick.

The worst thing that can happen a negotiating process is that one of the key parties doesn't have the political stature to deliver on their part of the bargain.  That can undermine the whole process.  I think we can be reasonably confident that if Merkel/Putin sigh up to a comprehensive deal, they will be able to deliver broader compliance with it by the EU, Eastern EU states, the Russian Federation, Kiev, Ukrainian Federalists, and even the Obama/NATO - and there won't be all that much the neo-cons, Ukrainian fascists, and local east Ukrainian warlords etc. will be able to do about it.  Sure, there could be remaining dissident and rogue fascists trying to stir things up, but that is where a UN peace keeping force might come in.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jul 26th, 2014 at 10:09:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That would require Merkel expending political capital on something that will bloody the nose of the right-wing crazy-train that her own EP group has been stirring up in the new member states.

It is unlikely that Merkel cares enough about Ukraine, or Russia, to risk alienation from her, in more than one sense, base partners in the EP and Council.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Jul 26th, 2014 at 11:43:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Merkel is reaching the end of her political career - one of considerable success but without the big achievement - German Unification - of her mentor Helmut Kohl. What better way to emulate him than by achieving a historic rapprochement between Germany and Russia - via a Treaty guaranteeing trade and mutual security between Germany (or the EU) and Russia. Her EPP partners in the EC and EP are a trifling consideration by comparison - they will just have to accept a fait accompli...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jul 26th, 2014 at 05:48:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reportedly Merkel wants to be UN Secretary General...

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jul 27th, 2014 at 03:30:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And preside over an organisation which does nothing whilst it's staff are being murdered? It strikes me that being in a job with very little power to do anything would be Merkel's worst nightmare.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 30th, 2014 at 08:51:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If Ukrainian fighter jets did shoot down MH17, why did insurgents do so much to prevent an examination of the wreckage which could have proved their case that it had nothing to do with them?  Now, it will always be possible for the US et al to claim that the wreckage was interfered with after the crash to make it look like a jet fighter attack. I expect to hear claims any time now that the bullets were shot into the wreckage after it crashed to make it look like a fighter attack.  

And what of claims that the Ukrainian fighters were not pressurized and thus not capable of being flown at that altitude? These are all factual claims that should be capable of verification or falsification. Too many amateurs on the job, or are the professionals all compromised?  I expect further growth in the conspiracy theory industry.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 30th, 2014 at 08:49:34 AM EST
Any time now we'll get an aircraft engineer coming in here to give us the goods on this.

(A reference some ETers will recognize...)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jul 30th, 2014 at 09:00:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm afraid I am not one of the Illuminati...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 30th, 2014 at 09:28:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The good old days. Not worth getting one's neurons in a twist about.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jul 30th, 2014 at 10:06:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm afraid that's from before my time, so my neurons escaped that twisting...  Interestingly clicking on links in that discussion produces the following message box:

A username and password are being requested by https://scm.clone1.com. The site says: "Web Content"

Maybe because my ET account hadn't been created then? Or is it on some archive server I don't have permission for?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 30th, 2014 at 02:51:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One of the images is on an address that is now password protected, from the looks of things.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Jul 30th, 2014 at 03:35:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank Schnittger:
my neurons escaped that twisting

It was, however, quite a twist at the time. And fuelled this.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jul 30th, 2014 at 04:28:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I cannot evaluate how much obstruction is "so much", given war priorities.

For some reason, Russia does not seem like trying hard to present evidence, consistent alternative scenarios. If open discussion does not "matter much", that is scary. Would disclosure blackmail be more valuable than disclosure itself?

To me, Ukrainian authorities are no more trustable with handling evidence, particularly dispatcher records. Western narrative has holes right  there. And indeed, technical expert opinions are conspiciously lacking.

by das monde on Wed Jul 30th, 2014 at 09:53:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's well-attested that the insurgents invested a lot of effort into shifting the wreckage around. So it must have been a pretty high-priority mission, for some reason.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Jul 30th, 2014 at 11:15:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Even just recovering the bodies would have involved moving the wreckage about.  Given the temperature, that would have been an urgent task.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 30th, 2014 at 03:03:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
das monde:
Russia does not seem like trying hard to present evidence

That's really the main point for me. This happened so close to the Russian border there's no way Moscow didn't know what happened right from the start. So exactly why didn't they make it clear, right from the start?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jul 30th, 2014 at 04:31:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A WSJ journalists on site reported today, in an NPR interview, that the OECD was given significant access the first day and pretty much full access by the second day. Unfortunately, they did not have the proper personnel present until about a week later. By that time the Ukrainian government had launched a new offensive that turned the site into a battlefield, naturally impeding access. Perhaps someone with a subscription to the WSJ could find the article.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jul 30th, 2014 at 05:49:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Providing access" and providing an environment where a team of civilian experts can work, are two very different things. Teams of experts were ready to deploy pretty much immediately (I have personal knowledge of this). They were perfectly right not to do so. You don't deploy to a place where the "authorities" are a bunch of crazies who expect to die soon. Call this pro-Western bias if you will, but they would have rapidly found themselves effectively hostages (and quite likely literally so).

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 05:26:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Providing access" and providing an environment where a team of civilian experts can work, are two very different things.

Granted, but in an active combat zone this requires the cooperation of all participants in the combat. Is it really conceivable that the Ukrainian Government could continue to press its offensive in defiance of strong orders from both the USA and EU supporters to provide a truce, at least around the area of the crash investigation? Were they to do so THEN we could see what was the response of the separatists and Russia. Had that been done the documentation, clean-up and collection of the bodies would likely now be close to completion and the Ukrainian offensive could continue.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 09:21:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you exaggerate the control that both the West and the Russians have over their clients in Ukraine.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 10:58:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps, but 'The West' has certainly given little voice to any frustrations it might have, nor does it seem to have affected the support provided. Instead, we have seen ongoing efforts to demonize Russia and no recognition of the problems created by the fascist Ukrainians we have helped. Not surprising, merely annoying to me. Somehow I find the actions of the US government more annoying than those of Russia.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 12:48:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ARGeezer:
Somehow I find the actions of the US government more annoying than those of Russia.

Because they are done in your name and with your presumed consent.

But seriously, if Israel can be allowed to do what it's doing in Gaza, what's a few Ukrainian fascists between friends?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 01:02:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have a generally very dyspeptic view of US foreign policy. Doing nothing in the FP arena would be a big improvement over what we are currently doing.
 

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 01:56:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
you were the very epitome of measured serenity!

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 02:17:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
what's a few Ukrainian fascists between friends?

Fascists R US!

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 11:13:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This Ukrainian government would not exist without Western supervision. And just like in Chile of the 70s, it follows a whole novel but skilful militized social-economic program, with all silent encouragement of Western leaders and the media. That's not exactly control, rather coordination with expertise.
by das monde on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 02:03:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Like Patton, they can be controlled by withholding vital war materials.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 11:15:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm baffled. This is once again a non-answer to my question.

Exactly why is Moscow not telling the whole world what happened?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 06:53:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We apparently missed Kartapolov's press conference.

Surely, Kiev already dimissed the data as faked.

by das monde on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 02:40:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't miss it. See my comment here.

Though you have found the article you link to, it was not prominently displayed on Russia Today 21-23 July (though of course I wasn't looking every five minutes, I was however following Russian Eng-lang media on those days). Neither was the Kartopolov presser prominently featured on RIA Novosti (which has now merged with Voice of Russia and become somewhat more strident). This event took place, was not supported by strong communication, and rapidly faded from view.

Compared to the noise these Russian international outlets were making about Maïdan, they are fairly muted on the MH17. If Moscow thinks the evidence Kartopolov presents bears scrutiny - if in fact it tells the truth - then why are the Russian international media not making all the noise they can in support of it?

For the moment, the answers offered in this thread are that the Russian military never divulge military information, or that the silence of the entire Russian ruling elite has been bought in some way by the West™. Neither is convincing, to say the least.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Aug 1st, 2014 at 02:09:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I already warned about simplicity of the "entire Russian elite bought" interpretation. That simplicity might be true in a small extent - but some strategic value might be traded as well. I like "might"s here not as speculation, but as very straightforward widening of imagination.

Russia (and other sides) apparently do not see much value in indulging evidence lovers like us, for quite a while. I would not say that even the noise about Maidan was significant. Yes, the noise is even more muted now, with a back-handed conference like Kartapolov's - with pretty sharp questions, without much posturing however. It reminds Gore & Kerry debates against Bush, where you could "rely" on those guys not to corner W.

In all, little eagerness of Russia to insist on any justification, any protest to blatant lies as a very interesting signal. Maybe they see something bigger coming, giving too little value to momentary PR game. Maybe (haha) the signal is directed specifically to annoy evidence lovers, set them aside for the benefit of all deciders. I make no bets here, just follow with amusement.

by das monde on Fri Aug 1st, 2014 at 04:26:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If Russia were innocent, the least I would expect is every Russian ambassador, in every country, doing the media rounds, presenting the evidence.  Even a very public denial would be a start. Most western media consumers wouldn't even be aware that Russia has denied anything.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 1st, 2014 at 06:46:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Was the US even remotely polite after taking down Iran Air 655?

The relative skope of anti-Russian implications and rhetorics is so far fetched that they are pretty cool with not even bothering with denying. Shouldn't Kiev explain no less, especially regarding the routing, and their own military acticity those days and later?

Eventually, Putin is likely to sacrifice the East Ukraina rebels in a worst way. And he is already taking care of controling the internet chatter in Russia - who knows in which way. So it is hard to tell who is kidding whom. The public is definitely just a background at best.

by das monde on Fri Aug 1st, 2014 at 10:26:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The outlines of the Merkel/Putin deal described in your link is more or less exactly what I have been expecting ever since the Crimea crisis broke out:  Russia gets to keep Crimea, abandons east Ukrainian rebels, they get some autonomy, everybody gets stable borders and secure energy supplies, and then business as usual...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 1st, 2014 at 11:54:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Kremlin might like the market price for staying mum.
by das monde on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 04:22:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Market driven Kremlin policies? Stalin must be turning in his grave...wait...:-)

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 04:33:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And the market sanction for proving a Ukrainian Su-25 did it would be what?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 04:57:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I do not mean a public market.
by das monde on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 06:13:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So who in Russia stands to benefit from Russia taking the rap for the downing of MH17 when in fact Ukraine did it, and Russia have the means to prove Ukraine did it?

Whoever it is must have sufficient power to suppress those Russian authorities who do have that information.

Presumably they want to see a strengthening of the Ukraine/EU/US/Neocon alliance against Putin, based on that false claim that Russia dis it, and Putin is powerless to stop this person suppressing this information, which means Putin must really not be in charge at all.

I'm really struggling to understand your logic here...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 06:30:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It just means that (presumably) Putin/Kremlin are offered enough in return.

But I do not claim exhaustive imagination, by any means. It's been long time since a big political issue was resolved by reason. Court lawers often advice against logical reflexes as well.

by das monde on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 07:03:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So the US is paying off all the top people in Russia to shut their mouths?

das monde:

It's been long time since a big political issue was resolved by reason

This is becoming a leitmotiv among commenters here who like to hint darkly at improbable conspiracies.

"Everything is so fucked up and stupid that my fucked-up and stupid theory is surely right!"

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 07:21:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Kind of undermines our claim to be an evidence based community...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 07:28:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And kind of calls for this new macro ((tinfoil)):

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 07:30:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So you stuck on this one question "Why wouldn't Kremlin say that?", and would rather ridicule any easily descriable possibilty than get curious about rather more material questions? Almost smart.

At the end we will not move a toe to move Putin or CIA. So my attention to knowing (or letting know) everything is limited. But a couple more of these fishy incidents, and I will wonder how late am I with building a bunker.

by das monde on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 07:43:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As citizens we are all stuck in a fog of information and misinformation and have to do our best to disentangle the two and come up with an understanding that best fits the evidence.  Of course there are all sorts of devious, Machiavellian, and false flag possibilities, but Occam's razor also applies: the explanation with the least assumptions or unsupported hypotheses should be applied.

In the diary I stuck my neck out pretty early in the controversy (he diary date was modified when it was frontpaged) and took the view that Russia was probably ultimately responsible. The only evidence I have seen since that seriously disputed that theory is the bullet holes found in parts of the wreckage.  However some have disputed that this is consistent with the SU 25 armaments and flying capabilities and I am simply not qualified to take an independent view.  The best we can hope for is that the crash investigators will ultimate reveal the true cause.

However as has been said here, and not disputed, as I recall, there are some people - either in Russia or the Ukraine who already know exactly what happened.  So the debate has moved on to why they haven't revealed that evidence and information, and who benefits from that reticence.  Again, on balance I have taken the view that it is virtually inconceivable that Russia would withhold such evidence if it truly were innocent.

Just because we're paranoid doesn't mean their not out to misinform us, but it does our credibility no good at all if we simply shout "conspiracy" every time we are presented with evidence that is not in accord with our ideological preferences or political allegiances.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 08:25:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, so someone with a lot of power, wealth or something has offered Putin/Kremlin something really big to take the rap for something they didn't do, and thereby line up pretty much the rest of the world against them for committing a horrible atrocity as a result of which the Russian elite will be subjected to sanctions which cramp their ability to travel in style and transmit funds overseas etc.

Kind of rules out Russian Oligarchs and leaves just the MIC/neocons in the US.  So you are suggesting that Putin/Kremlin are in the pay of the Pentagon?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 07:23:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That seems quite contradictory to anything I think I know about Putin. I don't think he has any intention to retire with a bag of money. Or at all.
by generic on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 08:10:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You extrapolate too much. I believe that Putin is acting on wider than.personal ambitions as well. But Putin might receive "enough" on the wider account as well. Say, something ensuring Russia's longer term security. Public rethorics is more useful for truly expansionary strategies.

I might think of the world elites behaviour as a high stakes casino game - the next challenge for biggest overlords. Everyone has own interests, but there are commin rules as well. (They might be even playing for the whole world, haha.) Roman aristocrasy, early Britain rulers apparently loved those "winner takes all" games.

by das monde on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 09:40:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You criticize generic for extrapolating too much, and then go on to speculate on a lot of things that "might" or might not be the case including some rather wild generalizations. Would it not be better to stick to the known facts and try to uncover more?

My diary was about what happened to MH17, and how Europe might respond in a more positive fashion by reducing dependence on Russian gas and increasing sustainable power generating and transmission capacity: - all very concrete things and proposals - ultimately not dependent on any one theory of what may or may not have happened, but positive goals in themselves.


Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 10:30:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Your extrapolation showed how simplistically I am misunderstood. That more speculation was a shot to remedy that.

As for the positive goals - they are just speculation as well until the big players would be interested. Instead, they seem to be doing every stupid thing to not allow that on a sufficient scale. We would rather see a collapse of this civilization cycle than a (more risky?) "sustainable" paradise.

by das monde on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 01:34:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have to concede I do not understand what you are on about. I must be even more simplistic than I thought.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 01:48:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We all have limited attention spans, especially with dissonance and uncertainty in the air.
by das monde on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 02:06:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But Putin might receive "enough" on the wider account as well. Say, something ensuring Russia's longer term security.

That kind of guarantees do not exist in international politics. And Putin, being a former high-ranking political spy trained in one of the most cautious foreign policy doctrines in the history of foreign policy doctrines, almost certainly knows this.

And even if that kind of guarantees were in principle possible, which they are not, the US has, eh, a credibility gap when it comes to security guarantees to people the State Department doesn't like. Hell, the US has a credibility gap when it comes to security guarantees to people the State Department does like.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 03:21:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia is pretty good in valuing immediately material somethings rather than abtract gurantees.
by das monde on Fri Aug 1st, 2014 at 08:38:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Then you need to point to an immediately material boon Russia is getting. Because aside from plutonium, which Russia does not need American help to obtain, there is nothing the Americans can give in the way of credible, security-enhancing material concessions which will not be obvious to even the dumbest low-info voter.

Time to stop JAQing off. Well past time, actually.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Aug 2nd, 2014 at 03:50:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for teaching me a new and useful phrase!

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Aug 2nd, 2014 at 05:30:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just asking questions - RationalWiki
JAQing off - 1. the act of spouting accusations while cowardly hiding behind the claim of "just asking questions." 2. asking questions and ignoring the answers. "He said he was going to present evidence, but instead he was just JAQing off."
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Aug 2nd, 2014 at 05:37:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Brave and deep argumentation.
by das monde on Sat Aug 2nd, 2014 at 06:35:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nah seriously: Can you think of anything Putin could be credibly and secretly offered? I'm drawing a blank. I suspect this once it is not caused by lack of fantasy on my part.
by generic on Sun Aug 3rd, 2014 at 04:02:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For my take on what IS on offer to Putin, see this diary.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Aug 3rd, 2014 at 05:52:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Make your meaning clear.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jul 31st, 2014 at 06:49:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe Putin is bored with propaganda ping-pong.

Sometimes the best thing to do is STFU.

It also leaves your opponent's bullshit hanging fragrantly in the media breeze... undignified by reactive, tit-for-tat response.

I cam easily imagine Vlad's media gurus shrugging as Oceania's PR goes into hyperdrive. No point trying to win points on foam production, leave that to the pink-tie brigade.

Who's selling the most arms to Kyev? Are gas contracts too locked down to renegotiate? How committed is the EU to these contracts? Will France go through with selling Putin two aircraft-carriers at the same time as applying sanctions? Can Ukraine up transit prices to us so as to be able to better afford rising gas prices for their own people? Is that why the EU supports the new government in Kyev? Energy blackmail?

Cognitive dissonance, in spades...

As Frank notes in this excellent diary, the answer is to make our own energy, period. Anything else is beating dead horses, squandering rarefying capital to keep the old spice flowing and the oili-gasigarchs in Guccis.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Aug 2nd, 2014 at 04:12:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
melo:
I cam easily imagine Vlad's media gurus shrugging as Oceania's PR goes into hyperdrive. No point trying to win points on foam production, leave that to the pink-tie brigade.

We're back to writing fiction again...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Aug 2nd, 2014 at 05:31:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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