Russia — The Bear Who Shat in the Woods?

Russia, the Big Red Car is talking Russia today. Let me bottom line it, Russia is a punk.

Let me tell you why.

US GDP $17,947,000,000,000 — $18 TRILLION.

European Union GDP $16,220,000,000,000 — $16 TRILLION.

Russian GDP $1,324,000,000,000 — $1.3 TRILLION.

Italy GDP $1,815,757,000,000 — $1.8 TRILLION.

As you can see, the US and the EU (a fair approximation for NATO) has a GDP of $34 TRILLION v $1.3 TRILLION for Russia.

Hell, Italy is bigger than Russia!

Hello, world, you getting this? Russia is tiny when compared to the West. Hello, America!

Vladimir Putin, the Russian Guy

Russia is led by a guy who can run a bluff of gargantuan proportions. The guy is Vladimir Putin who is a former KGB punk. Make no mistake, Russia = Putin. He is the shot caller over there.

He is a guy familiar with espionage, dirty tricks, misinformation, disinformation, and giving wedgies. (Espionage + dirty tricks = misinformation/disinformation.) <<< political calculus.

The West is falling for his mojo and the West doesn’t have the cojones to front this punk up in places like Crimea.

He stole Crimea because the West was led by that pussy President Obama. [Sorry, that was uncouth. Please accept my apology.] Turns out the Russians aren’t fazed by faux red lines, speeches, pronouncements they are “on the wrong side of history,” being denied access to Disneyland, and stuff like that. Go figure!

Sure I’m a punk, but who’s going to do anything about it? You, you fat living intellectuals? Haha. I own Crimea and I have my eyes set on the Ukraine. I intend to bluff you until somebody over there grows some sack.

Let’s be clear — Putin has been on the scene in a position of power for 15 years and he isn’t going anywhere any time soon. He will be in power in ten years. Bet on it.

Defense Spending

Of late, President Donald J Trump has been calling out NATO members for failing to meet their agreed upon defense spending commitment of 2% of GDP.  What does that mean, Big Red Car?

US defense spent 3.291% of GDP in 2016. [These numbers come from the World Bank while the numbers in the following graph come from NATO. Not sure why there is a discrepancy other than the World Bank numbers are for 2016 and the NATO numbers may be from 2015?]

Russia spent 5.391% of 2016 GDP on defense ($70 BILLION).

Here is what happened in NATO.

As you can see, there is a lean list of folks who are actually meeting their NATO 2% requirement, but not one of these countries has indicated they do not intend to invoke Article V — “an attack on one is an attack on all” — which is enshrined in the same agreement.

Europe and the European Union has been sending the bill for their defense to the United States since 1945. We are allowing them to grow their economies with the funds they should be spending on THEIR OWN DEFENSE.

This is unfair to the American taxpayer and has to stop. Now.

Bottom line it, Big Red Car, Russia?

Russia is tiny. It gets more than half of its GDP from energy. We can drive energy prices down and crush Russia.

The USSR failed because President Ronald Reagan broke their bank by ramping up defense spending. The Russians could not pay the tab. Down comes the Berlin Wall, poof goes the USSR.

To keep the Russians at bay, the West has to work together, meet their financial obligations, and provide an organized resistance to the Russians. This is easy pickings when one considers the size of the West v the Russians.

If the NATO countries met their 2% requirement, that would be $324 BILLION (Russia is at $70 BILLION).

The US will continue to spent about $600 BILLION.

US + NATO 2% = $924 BILLION v Russia $70 BILLION.

BTW, China is spending about $215 BILLION annually and is expanding.

Read this also: The Russian Bear is a Punk <<< hyperlink

So, dear readers, there you have it. The world is sending the bill for its defense to the United States of America. If they meet their NATO requirements, this is not a big problem, but they are not and this is why it’s good to have an American President who has gotten our national cojones out of storage, no?

One other thing I want to mention is that the US under the Trump administration has begun to export LNG (liquid natural gas) to Eastern Europe which is, currently, held hostage to Russian controlled pipelines which have a chilling impact on Eastern Europe’s willingness to front Russia up during the winter. This new export program is great for the US and Europe while giving Russia a long overdue wedgie.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. Be good to yourself. It’s going to be a scorcher out there this week.

  • I watched Trump’s speech from Warsaw, and saw him freely discussing (bragging, even) about the LNG sales from the US, the missile batteries for Poland, and outlining a strategy that intends to cut the Russians off from Western Europe, and wondered: How is this guy colluding with Moscow? If he succeeds, he puts them in the poorhouse. The ceasefire in southwest Syria, brokered with the Israelis, seems to be holding. So how is this a bad thing?
    I don’t get it BRC–if the Russians were seriously backing The Donald, seems like they bet on the wrong team.

    • JLM

      .
      How dare you use fact based powers of observation. Who do you think you are? Cut that out right now.

      I think President Trump and Putin are going to have a very productive relationship like Reagan-Gorbachev.

      Putin knows there is a limit to the amount of baloney Trump will accept. The Syrian strike made that point.

      President Obama blew some “red line” smoke up everybody’s skirt — did nothing.

      Trump said nothing, blew away 20% of Syria’s air force.

      Putin is going to feel around for the edges, but he’s got to hate the prospect of losing those Easter Europe LNG sales. That’s part of Russia’s GDP and Putin doesn’t have much in the way of LNG not to sell as he needs the cash.

      BRC
      http://www.themusingsofthebigredcar.com

      • sigmaalgebra

        Via Google,

        area of the US, 3.797 million square miles

        area of Russia, 6.602 million miles

        In land area, Russia likely the largest country in the world. IIRC west to east, they are in 11 time zones.

        I know; I know; for much of that land, it thaws out for only, what, a few weeks a year?

        But they are darned good in mathematics, especially probability and stochastic processes, a lot in applied math, physical science, violin, music composition, figure skating, ice hockey, ballet, airplanes, palaces.

        With so much land, somehow they should be able to make good money from it. Heck, I’d like to have a really good winter coat; wasn’t able to find one; had one made I’m not thrilled about; but the Russians have a lot of winter coats that look really good for winter.

        What the heck all the strategic issues and forces about Russia are I don’t really know or understand:

        For just one point, sure, just look at a map and see that Russia has a heck of a time getting to the Atlantic Ocean. They can fight the ice and try to go north of Finland. Heck, not even the Finns want to be that far north. Gads. They can use the Baltic Sea and get through the Denmark Straits and the English Channel. Or they can use what they have to get to the Black Sea, then through the Bosphorus, across the Mediterranean, and through the straits of Gibraltar. Or they could use the Suez, the Arabian Sea, and the tip of South Africa and get to the South Atlantic.

        The USSR broke up; no way can it come back together because too many people were far too happy when the USSR broke up, e.g., Melania’s home country. The Baltics, the Balkans, the Finns, the Poles, etc. just aren’t going to report to Moscow.

        One of the big points about NATO is that the US can easily keep any of the NATO countries from attacking Russia. The big time attacks on Russia were from Napoleon and the French and from Hitler and the Germans (for Sweden and Russia, I have no details).

        At the end of WWII, Stalin grabbed a lot of Balkan and Baltic buffer states, but who should blame him after what Germany and France had done to Russia?

        But now NATO has kept the peace in Europe for, IIRC, the longest period in all of history. Good. And Russia is one of the countries that, now, has not been attacked and has not seriously attacked any other countries.

        Russia attacks? Russia wants the eastern part of Ukraine that prefers to speak Russian — is that what’s going on there? The government in Kiev doesn’t like the eastern Ukraine? I don’t know. And the Crimea, do many people in Crimea really care? Should anyone else really care? And Russia gets, what, easier access to Black sea?

        If Russia is a threat, then we should be very careful. And we can be. Maybe the key to dealing with Russia is simple: Reagan’s “Trust but verify”. But at one time the US was so wound up about Russia and the USSR that the best trained US national security analysts could all agree that on any sheet of white paper there were clear images of a dozen Communist saboteurs working in the US. Even if Russia was a big threat, that wasn’t being careful; it was being stupid.

        But since the end of WWII, the US has shed a lot of blood and treasure on the assumption that somehow Russia was trying the old take over the world ploy. Yup, there were Russian missiles in Cuba; really bad bummer. But IIRC there were also US missiles in Turkey. IIRC the deal was that we got our missiles out of Turkey and Russia got their missiles out of Cuba.

        The parody movie Dr. Strangelove with General Jack Ripper (great Sterling Hayden acting job; once I knew a guy as would up about fluoridation as Ripper) and his anger at the Russians was too close to some overreaction of the US that looks like it was real until finally Ronny and Gorby calmed things down.

        Again, I don’t know what the strategic threat of Russia is, but maybe Russia can make a lot of money for itself out of some of that land. Mining? Tourism? Lumber?

    • SFG

      I was having lunch yesterday and sitting next to an feisty elderly lady and her daughter. And oh were they having fun BOLDLY talking about Trump and Russia. The daughter proudly bragged that she had spent the entire morning watching the Russia coverage. They were very convinced of the truth of it all and were true “fans”. What the media has successfully done is to play into people’s biases and create a rather successful “soap opera” where the final conclusion will mean nothing as like with a real soap opera — there is never an ending. Mueller could announce a 100% nothing burger and it’s still going to be spun.

      • sigmaalgebra

        Ah, for a newsie, editor, and publisher, getting all those new, independent stories was a drag!
        So, borrow from the old movie Saturday matinee serials!

        Pick a story that can run for months! So, each day just update the story a little — “no real work about it”, done in an hour at most then spend the rest of the day in an indoor, Olympic sized, infinity pool (wonder what one of those would cost me, in round six figures?).

        For a story? Hillary provided one: The only reason she lost was the Russians! The Trump campaign was in cahoots, colluded, conspired with the Ruskies, and their hackers caused Trump to win!

        Now for a good serial, want it to keep running and not stop too soon. So, pick a story that know to be false; then no one can prove the story is true and, thus, stop the story. Also, easier, pick a story no one can prove is false. That is, often can prove that someone did something bad, but usually super tough to prove that someone didn’t do something bad! “We as yet, so far, have no solid proof that the Trump campaign didn’t play footsie with the Ruskies!”

        For more, do a media-wide gang-up and pile-on. And use the Goebbels “If you repeat a lie often enough, then people will believe it.”.

        Problem solved! The media has been able to go for months this way, just updating the gossip, sorry, story, a little each day! Then lots of time in the Olympic sized infinity pool?

        If the Russia story goes cold, then the media will pick another story.

        Eventually people will laugh at the media, but people have had plenty of reason to do that back to Jefferson!

        Occasionally there is some important news. Then the media publishes some version of it, and readers are glad to have that news.

        Otherwise, back to borrowing from movie Saturday matinee serials!

  • sigmaalgebra

    Really NICE. Again, once again, much better news than anywhere in the MSM.

  • SFG

    Emailing this to MSNBC. I’m sure they will want to know that it’s actually good to have a president wielding some cajones for a change and making everyone pay up. The endless giving away of America is facing a huge headwind now and for this I’m thankful — despite all of the endless CRYING. I’ve also heard that DJT is good at building things and am looking forward to a wall coming our way. About time we export some LNG to EE!

    • JLM

      .
      Be careful mentioning my name as the MSNBC brethren may think a Big RED Car is a Russian car. I cannot afford the legal bills. A goon who works with Mueller was sniffing around yesterday. I blew some exhaust in his face.

      BRC
      http://www.themusingsofthebigredcar.com

      • SFG

        Yeah, I’ve had my suspicions that you had Russian ties. The red paint a huge tell. Great post, thanks.

    • sigmaalgebra

      I’m sure they will want to know that it’s actually good to have a president wielding some cajones for a change and making everyone pay up.

      MSNBC? Sorry, what BRC wrote would IMHO just totally piss off MSNBC.

      From all I can see, MSNBC and the rest of the MSM have a theme.
      Here’s the theme: The US has been a big bully. The US should not be the leader of the world. The US should be cut back, cut down to size, to be just another country. The countries who deserve to lead are the ones that have suffered the most, e.g., from wars by the industrialized countries. E.g., Bangladesh from its suffering is much better qualified to lead the world than the US. We should have just one world, lead by the UN, everyone sharing, joining hands, singing Kumbaya, everyone in topless, unisex clothing, to each country according to their needs, from each country according to its abilities, free universal food, clothing, transportation (only public transportation), medical care, housing, education, retirement, all 100%, totally safe, clean, fossil-free renewable energy, etc.

      For more IMHO MSNBC would like, Obama got the US on the way to being just another country, and BRC and DJT are the evil ones trying to turn this around, e.g., with the explicitly evil goal of MAGA.

      The graph just shows unfair the US is! MSBNC would want to point that out!

      I might be a little wrong about the MSNBC, but the above is my first guess.

      From all I can see about the MSM, that’s the basic theme.

  • JLM

    .
    Spotlight on Russia — a tiny country which plays way above its weight class because we let it.

    Let’s get the low down on Russia, shall we?

    http://themusingsofthebigredcar.com/russia-2/

    BRC
    http://www.themusingsofthebigredcar.com

    #russia #trump #NATO #defensespending