China and India. War Profiteers

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The war needs to end. It is a major disruptor of the economy and great driving force for inflation.
The Western alliance has supported Ukraine with America being the one carrying the heavier burden.
Sanctions on Russia are working and energy experts say the consequent lack of access to western technology and knowhow is gradually shrinking Russia’s productive capacity.
This is important because revenues from oil and gas are the dominant component of their federal budget. In 2021 they represented 45% of such budget.
But even at discounted prices, Russia continues to sell its oil.
And who are the major purchasers? China and India.
Judging by the bar graph in a recent article in the WSJ (see link below), China and India appear to account for over 65% of such purchases.
So why not put sanctions on those two countries?
By their purchases they are helping prolong the war and so the killing of Ukrainians.
They are fueling inflation and all its devastating consequences.
Will India get upset with the West if sanctions are applied? Most likely. But what alternatives do they leave us? The cost of the war is too high and they have become war profiteers.
The war in Ukraine affects everyone and India and Modi are not accepting their responsibility in bringing it to an end.
Over the years they chose to purchase their weapons from Russia instead of the West, so they, too, got fooled by his Highness Vladimir.
They may take some comfort in the fact that Germans also got snookered, with Angela Merkel believing Putin’s tricks.
To be fair, in America, we have a long history of that same gullibility. For just one example, I’m sure George W Bush is still kicking himself for having invaded Iraq in 2003, resulting in all that destruction.
The war in Ukraine is telling India that it is time to accelerate its pivot to the West. Stopping the purchases of Russian oil would be a great step in that direction.
India’s talents would make a remarkable contribution, as we already see from the many heads of industry of Indian origin now in America, as well as in other fields of endeavor.
Will sanctions on China upset Xi Jinping? Yes. But they, too, are a war profiteer.
China became the powerhouse that it is now because of the enormous transfer of talent and technology from the West which they then used well by applying their own gifts.
But their current system of rigid hierarchical structure with suppression of freedom of speech will not keep fueling their expansion but slow it instead
China, too, by their support of Putin is contributing to the economic malaise the world is struggling with. By their purchases of oil from Putin they become his accomplice.
Economic sanctions need to be levied and if they scream, so be it.
The world needs respite from the war. And it needs it now

The West is Under Attack

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The brutality that Putin has unleashed against Ukraine is an attack on the West.

Falsely claiming that he is being threatened, Putin has chosen to ravage a country which, having been enslaved by the Soviet Union, now choses to commit to a world of freedom.

He has resorted to all manner of lies. Called the Ukrainian government ‘Nazis’, said that Ukraine’s effort to fend off attacks by Russian separatists in the Donbas region are an act of genocide against the Russian people.

But Ukrainians need only look to their neighbor to see what they will become if they continue to live under the boot of Putin and his supporters.

As I write, more Russian forces advance on Kyiv which is being bombed and where street fighting is raging.

The images of their suffering touches all of us deeply.

Both Ukrainian men and women have volunteered to fight for their land, to resist, to put obstacles in the path to the invaders.

They are willing to face the trained soldiers of a clearly more powerful army no matter what the consequences. In the photos that reach us there they are, holding guns in their hands, their souls looking at us directly and asking, why?

Those brave volunteers that we see standing in the photos may be dead in the next hours.

Protests rallies have sparked all over the world. The blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag is worn proudly by protesters and displayed on buildings or in night lighting.

Ukrainian men and women living in Poland are choosing to return to Ukraine to defend their land.

Volodymyr Zelensky has bravely called on all willing to join the struggle. ‘Wherever you are, come help us.’

His cry ‘What use will the sanctions be after they bomb us?’ resonates in the hearts and minds of those who are in a position to change things.

His pressure has had effects. Now Putin has been included in the list of those being sanctioned after a more cautious approach proved futile. Restrictions on Russia’s banking have been stiffened. But nothing has stopped him so far. And perhaps nothing will.

But the West needs to go where it hurts.

The West needs to go all out and completely stop the buying of oil and gas from Russia.

Putin has gambled, that the West will support Ukraine but stop short if its sanctions hurt our economy.

But it is not only Ukraine but the West that is under attack.

This is the time to act and accept the inflationary pressures that will come from energy shortages and their impact on economic production.

Now is the time to act.

China, in its stance to stand by Russia, tells us clearly who and what they value. That is what their government is. They will do whatever they can to weaken the West, even though they are now where they are now partly because of what the West has contributed to their development.

But they are thinking ahead and planning to do in Taiwan what Russia is now doing in Ukraine.

Like Russia, the Chinese are governed by leaders who are enemies of free speech. Leaders who think nothing of squashing the democracy movement in Hong Kong or ruthlessly suppressing the Uyghur people in Xinjiang province.

This is a time for the West to act decisively.

There will be economic pain if we stop purchasing oil and gas from Russia but a world order will be staunchly defended by such action.

This is the time to start isolating Putin.

This is the time for him to pay the consequences of his brutality. A brutality that has been in full display in his backing of Assad in Syria and other countries.

He reasons that his ambitions are worth whatever the cost in human lives. He doesn’t care.

But he is not Russia.

And Russia is not Putin. There are great people in Russia, a land with a vast pool of talent as seen in their creativity, scientific and cultural.

As we speak, Russians are also struggling under the boot of a ruthless tyrant.

We believe in the power of men and women. And men and women everywhere long for freedom. In Russia, in China, in Syria, in Venezuela, all over the world. The task is to aid them in breaking the chains that have been placed upon them by cruel leaders thinking only of their own benefits.

Cutting off Russia from the oil markets in the West will have an enormous negative impact on their economy. And Russians will choose between remaining under Putin’s boot, or joining with the rest of the world, a world that is eager and open to embrace them.

This is the time to place the severest sanctions on Russia for we are under attack.

President Zelensky’s statement, ‘What use will the sanctions be after they bomb us?’ should be our collective battle cry.

This is the time to act.

Before more and more people are killed and subjugated.

Putin will not change. He is who he is. He has placed his bet.

We have to place ours.

‘What use will the sanctions be after they bomb us?’

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