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I know the Russians and Serbs are close, but does Kosovo really mean that much to Putin?  Sure he can do real short term damage to the EU, but does he really want a new cold war?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Dec 18th, 2007 at 08:28:38 PM EST
High stakes game of chicken.

The question is easily reversible.

by Upstate NY on Tue Dec 18th, 2007 at 09:23:36 PM EST
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but the West now seems more than ever unable to look at things from the other side's persepctive.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 05:11:54 AM EST
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A new cold war would suit all sorts of people wonderfully: falling back to something they understand would be a relief.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 02:43:34 AM EST
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The world has moved on.

And Putin ain't that dumb....

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 03:03:39 AM EST
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You think a cold war wouldn't suit Putin politically at home, so long as it didn't interfere with business?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 03:59:20 AM EST
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so long as it didn't interfere with business?

..quite a caveat, wouldn't you say?

How could it not interfere with business?

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 04:50:58 AM EST
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Russia sells energy, metals and weapons. I see no downside for them from more tension: the immediate cosnequences would be higher energy prices and more demand for weapons...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 05:11:13 AM EST
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But no one wants to miscalculate. That would not be good for business, and may be dangerous to our health!

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 05:22:16 AM EST
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Plus, a real cold war would bankrupt the US.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 05:44:44 AM EST
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They're doing a great job of bankrupting themselves.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 06:52:53 AM EST
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And why are the Kosovo Albanians so important to the Americans? or the Germans? Are they willing to risk a new cold war for Kosovo?
by vladimir on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 09:51:25 AM EST
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Well, this [pdf] seems to have something to do with it.

By the early 1930s and until 2000, mineral deposits in the region were well-defined. Commercial resources of major base metals included those of aluminum, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, lead, magnesium, manganese, nickel, and zinc. Such precious metals as gold, silver, palladium, and platinum were found mainly in association with such base metals as copper, lead, and zinc. Industrial minerals were represented by a broad range of carbonate and silicate rocks, gravels, and sands as well as by clays and volcanic materials. Mineral fuels comprised coal (lignite), natural gas, and petroleum.

Until the early 1990s, the mining, processing, and downstream exploitation of base metals established the region as a major European source of copper, lead, and zinc and a major world producer of chromite. The transition of the region from central economic planning to market economy systems between 1991 and 2001 also began a swift deconstruction of existing political and social structures. The ensuing political, social, and ethnic tensions and conflict destroyed or degraded much of the region's mineral industries and industrial infrastructure. In 2001, social and political tensions in the region centered in the Province of Kosovo in Serbia and Montenegro and in Macedonia.

Not all oppressed peoples have this kind of leverage.

by Loefing on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 04:50:02 PM EST
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The volumes are insignificant.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 05:25:37 PM EST
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I hope you're right.
by Loefing on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 05:49:18 PM EST
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Russia doesn't want a New Cold War.  I suspect they also don't want to be told every single time they assert themselves and act in their own interests that they are starting a New Cold War.  

If Putin is the man of the year, and desevedly so, then "New Cold War" is the "most overused phrase of the year."  Sigh...

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 10:53:11 AM EST
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