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Conquest is for Losers, quite right Mr. Krugman, but who's the Conqueror here?

von Paul Krugman
2014-12-27

Paul Krugman
Paul Krugman
The Nobel-Prize winning (Unfortunately, since the Nobelprizes for Obama and Europe this Award degenerated into a utility of transatlantic propaganda) Princeton Economist Paul Krugman was publishing an Opinion Piece in the New York Times on Dec 21st. The Article was linked at the Website of the Huffington Post, where it originally carried the Title "Krugman slams Putin's stupidity", whereas the NYT pulished it with the more moderate title, "Conquest is for Losers". Krugman opens with a reference to a british journalist named Norman Angell, who a century ago made the argument that the age of conquest is over and that this conventional warfare impoverishes the victorious as well as the defeated.

While the notion itself is correct it is yet absolutely no surprise that it finds its expression in the writings of a british character. The British have known for more than a century that conventional symmetric warfare damages all its participants, which is why they developed strategies to create a war, or one should rather say to instigate wars without the direct intention of participting in them themselves, but with the effect of strategically enhancing their own position according to their oligarchical doctrin of "Divide and Rule!". ISIS, the Ukraine Crisis and the increasing unrests in Northern and sub-saharan Africa are clear expressions of british foreign policy by abuse of american and increasingly also european) military power (the dumb muscle). And Clowns like Krugman either don't see or don't want to see this absolutely evident pattern in classical as well as modern history. It is even more symptomatic for the whole case of the United States as a Nation that Krugman himselfs as one of its academic figures, like so many others in the past, follows british-made doctrins so easily without questioning their background and without taking into account their consequences for the United States as a Nation State as compared to an Empire. The fact that under the "special anglo-american relationship" the United States acts as a dumb muscle puppet for the British, this time in creating a new cold and perhaps even a new hot war, including the involvement of nuclear weapons, instead of seeking dialog and economic cooperation and development.

The Re-Unification of the Crimea with Russia was a russian reaction to a deep and long evolving NATO Aggression at the baltic and neighboring states to Russia, by consciously distorting the local democratic processes by means of financial support of anti-russion sentiments and even up to openly supporting of Nazi-Putsches in Ukraine's Capital, as seen and clearly documented in the case of the actions of Victoria Nuland.

Why is Krugman not mentioning the BRICS alternative, which explicitely invited the United States for participation of a common economic development of the Silk-Road and the construction of the Bering-Strait-Tunnel? Because like the court jester, he is afraid to bite the hand that feeds him in a too obvious way and because of his exclusively monetarist academic background he has no real idea, what progress means and what it is really based upon.

Krugman, as so many of all the other american economic court jesters, is trying to be smart, by criticising their own war-mongering Neo-Con faction by blaming them for the alleged attempt to imitate the "demon" Putin, but completely ignoring the historic as well as the factual pattern of the NATO-Aggression having occured prior to the russian action of re-uniting with the Crimea. By condemning the stereotypes of conventional warfare along with the parallel praisal of inflicting "economic costs" on Russia in a way seems to justify and to approve of the harsh economic warfare that has been launched by NATO-Countries against Russia, which sacrifices the european and other economies that have or had close ties to the russian economy. Instead of playing the moral judge upon Putins decision regarding the Crimea, which Krugman has certainly no credit for, considering his track record of inhuman and purely monetarist publications of the past, he should come up with solutions, which his piece certainly does not offer. His helpless gibberish is symptomatic for the majority of nowadays US-americam Academia, who do not seem to be capable of raising their minds BEYOND geopolitical thinking of the confrontational type, rather than thinking of how to cooperate with Russia on the basis of making the lives of both people and all others better by means of real economic cooperation and development instead of sanction policies and mere talks about illusions of victory.

The Email Service Provider which I am privately using recently published a poll, which basically drew out four directives in dealing with Putin's Russia to select upon. Those directives included "Keep up the sanctions", "One can't talk to Putin", "Talk to Putin" and "Drop the Sanctions".

Sanktionsbarometer as per 23.12.2014

The results were showing an outstanding majority voting for dropping the sanctions against Russia. This clearly reflects that like in so many other cases of geopolitically motivated decisions, the population, especially Germany's population, has been totally overidden and ignored. The majority of the people has no interest in getting into another conflict with Russia. The majority is also sick and tired of the unhealthy and unproductive hegemony of a british controlled United States, which currently is unable to accept and tolerate different economic stances in the Eurasian Region. This is what has to change and unfortunately the Krugman-Gibberish does not contribute anything to this end. The reader may decide by himself, when reading Krugmans article at the NYT.

The real solution lies in global cooperation and not confrontation, embedded in a doctrin of mutual respect and not mutual destruction. This lesson of common human sense hardly registers in the minds of the likes of Krugman and other quacks.

Thomas Trautzsch


Krugman Artikel bei NY Times

Here the full text of Krugman's article:

Conquest Is for Losers

Putin, Neocons and the Great Illusion

More than a century has passed since Norman Angell, a British journalist and politician, published “The Great Illusion,” a treatise arguing that the age of conquest was or at least should be over. He didn’t predict an end to warfare, but he did argue that aggressive wars no longer made sense — that modern warfare impoverishes the victors as well as the vanquished.

He was right, but it’s apparently a hard lesson to absorb. Certainly Vladimir Putin never got the memo. And neither did our own neocons, whose acute case of Putin envy shows that they learned nothing from the Iraq debacle.

Angell’s case was simple: Plunder isn’t what it used to be. You can’t treat a modern society the way ancient Rome treated a conquered province without destroying the very wealth you’re trying to seize. And meanwhile, war or the threat of war, by disrupting trade and financial connections, inflicts large costs over and above the direct expense of maintaining and deploying armies. War makes you poorer and weaker, even if you win.

The exceptions to this dictum actually prove the rule. There are still thugs who wage war for fun and profit, but they invariably do so in places where exploitable raw materials are the only real source of wealth. The gangs tearing the Central African Republic apart are in pursuit of diamonds and poached ivory; the Islamic State may claim that it’s bringing the new caliphate, but so far it has mostly been grabbing oil fields.

The point is that what works for a fourth-world warlord is just self-destructive for a nation at America’s level — or even Russia’s. Look at what passes for a Putin success, the seizure of Crimea: Russia may have annexed the peninsula with almost no opposition, but what it got from its triumph was an imploding economy that is in no position to pay tribute, and in fact requires costly aid. Meanwhile, foreign investment in and lending to Russia proper more or less collapsed even before the oil price plunge turned the situation into a full-blown financial crisis.

Which brings us to two big questions. First, why did Mr. Putin do something so stupid? Second, why were so many influential people in the United States impressed by and envious of his stupidity?

The answer to the first question is obvious if you think about Mr. Putin’s background. Remember, he’s an ex-K.G.B. man — which is to say, he spent his formative years as a professional thug. Violence and threats of violence, supplemented with bribery and corruption, are what he knows. And for years he had no incentive to learn anything else: High oil prices made Russia rich, and like everyone who presides over a bubble, he surely convinced himself that he was responsible for his own success. At a guess, he didn’t realize until a few days ago that he has no idea how to function in the 21st century.

The answer to the second question is a bit more complicated, but let’s not forget how we ended up invading Iraq. It wasn’t a response to 9/11, or to evidence of a heightened threat. It was, instead, a war of choice to demonstrate U.S. power and serve as a proof of concept for a whole series of wars neocons were eager to fight. Remember “Everyone wants to go to Baghdad. Real men want to go to Tehran”?

The point is that there is a still-powerful political faction in America committed to the view that conquest pays, and that in general the way to be strong is to act tough and make other people afraid. One suspects, by the way, that this false notion of power was why the architects of war made torture routine — it wasn’t so much about results as about demonstrating a willingness to do whatever it takes.

Neocon dreams took a beating when the occupation of Iraq turned into a bloody fiasco, but they didn’t learn from experience. (Who does, these days?) And so they viewed Russian adventurism with admiration and envy. They may have claimed to be alarmed by Russian advances, to believe that Mr. Putin, “what you call a leader,” was playing chess to President Obama’s marbles. But what really bothered them was that Mr. Putin was living the life they’d always imagined for themselves.

The truth, however, is that war really, really doesn’t pay. The Iraq venture clearly ended up weakening the U.S. position in the world, while costing more than $800 billion in direct spending and much more in indirect ways. America is a true superpower, so we can handle such losses — although one shudders to think of what might have happened if the “real men” had been given a chance to move on to other targets. But a financially fragile petroeconomy like Russia doesn’t have the same ability to roll with its mistakes.

I have no idea what will become of the Putin regime. But Mr. Putin has offered all of us a valuable lesson. Never mind shock and awe: In the modern world, conquest is for losers.
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Thomas Trautzsch
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