November 20th, 2014
08:40 AM ET

What I'm reading: It may take a generation to bring Russia back

By Fareed Zakaria

“Western policy [on Russia] is driven by a combination of economic self-interest and increasing timidity. The EU mishandled much of the early strategy on Ukraine, sending mixed messages to Kiev and Moscow,” writes John Kampfner for The Guardian. “Since the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner, the approach has become more consistent. Putin had assumed that the west, and particularly Germany and France (disproportionately dependent on trade with Russia) would buckle. And with the eurozone economies in an increasingly parlous state, Putin still assumes that Angela Merkel and François Hollande will resist, and ultimately remove, the sanctions that are causing growing damage.”
“To anyone who appreciates the beauty of Russia, the power of its creativity and the potential it has to offer, the events of the past year, indeed past several years, have been dispiriting. In the 1990s Russia had the opportunity to open up, to become integrated into the international community. The goodwill on both sides was intoxicating.”


“[A]nalysts agree one of the video’s key functions for ISIS is to illustrate how far the group’s seductive reach is extending globally,” writes Tracy McNicoll for the Daily Beast. “As France took in the shock news that one of its own sons may be a throat-slitting, decapitating terrorist, the Islamist specialist Romain Caillet told Le Monde, “In putting forward soldiers from the four corners of the world, Da’esh [as the French call the group, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS] is looking to create a ‘United Colors of Jihad’ effect. The message is simple: there are hundreds of Jihadi Johns.”

“Already frustrated by too many false starts, Japan’s private sector is likely to become even more skeptical and risk averse,” writes Mohamed El-Erian for Bloomberg View. “If this pattern continues, the private sector could end up in what economists call Ricardian equivalence – that is, it will act to negate the stimulus efforts of Japanese officials. Households and businesses could curtail their consumption and investment today as they wait for the higher taxes that are coming in the future.”

“If Western nations don’t do a better job of internalizing the lessons of Japan, some of these economies may find themselves in even deeper trouble. And if they aren't careful, they could well end up in an even worse position, since they lack Japan's social cohesion, sense of collective action and its cushion of wealth.”


“ISIS also pairs its brutality with social service provision: they provide food, electricity, medical care, and some semblance of a justice system. Buy people's loyalty when you can, and force it when you can't,” writes Zack Beuchamp for Vox.

“So far, this might actually be working. A recent New York Times report suggested Raqqa residents were angry about American strikes on ISIS targets because they made it harder for ISIS to maintain order and public services in the city. But ISIS's absurd brutality has provoked backlashes before. In 2006, back when ISIS was al-Qaeda in Iraq, a rebellion that was partly inspired by the group's brutality nearly destroyed it.”

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soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. rupert

    Russia is an international menace. The only reason they were our ally in WWII was because stalin was not as bad as hitler.
    Financially, I doubt putin can afford any more miscalculations. Obviously a reason he kisses chi na's buttt

    November 20, 2014 at 8:57 am | Reply
    • Philip

      What a pile of rupert. Joseph Stalin was every bit as bad as Hitler ended up being.
      A lot of folks don't know this but Stalin was Yitsack Shamir's hero. Shamir founded Israel's infamous MOSSAD group, and used a famous quote of Stalin's to justify fighting fire with fire: "The ends justify the means."
      Stalin sent 30 million Soviet citizens to the grave defending oilfields. Sent them to war carrying hoes and shovels for weapons even. Stalin: One of the most evil men of all time.

      November 20, 2014 at 11:17 am | Reply
      • yskjs

        "The end justifies the means" is much older than that, accredited to Macchiavelli?

        December 4, 2014 at 8:48 am |
  2. Zandie

    That's right rupert. Gotta sell that oil somewhere. Lol

    November 20, 2014 at 9:00 am | Reply
  3. palintwit

    Sarah Palin for president 2016. Yaeh!!!

    November 20, 2014 at 9:02 am | Reply
    • Retired Clydesdale Horse

      Sarah Palin for my replacement pulling the Budweiser Beer Wagon. Plus she has her own feedbag.

      November 20, 2014 at 10:58 am | Reply
  4. Cold War construction

    Over 60 trillion dollars were spent by US and Soviet leaders building secret underground manufacturing facilities during the now obviously phony "Cold War". Few citizens are even remotely interested in exactly what is being built in them, and major media rarely if ever mentions them.
    60 trillion. Imagine had those funds been invested in education.

    November 20, 2014 at 10:54 am | Reply
  5. chri§§y

    And you are all cordially invited to shop at the newly opened retail shop called "Conspiracy Theorys Are Us" where we have dedicated a whole aisle too the "Phony Cold War" conspiracy. However you will need Bitcoins if you wish to purchase anything! Thank you and happy shopping...fools!

    November 20, 2014 at 11:15 am | Reply
    • Philip

      OBVIOUSLY false flag war you maroon.

      November 20, 2014 at 11:26 am | Reply
    • yskjs

      The USA trying to beat down on Russia has nothing to do with economics, only geopolitics. Europe, the US' lapdog, has to take a hit economically just when it was climbing out of the hole in order to help the USA to hurt Russia. I don't think that Putin is a wonderful guy. He pushes the envelope just as far as he thinks is possile without creating a major disaster. Rhetoric is only a smokescreen for the domestic audience. The realpolitik, what really happens that we can't see, is something oompletely different. Europe, and Ukraine too, is still getting Russian natgas this winter, so I'm pretty sure that Kerry, Merkel and lots of other people have made it very clear that messing with that would be a bridge too far. Fareed should be the very good journalist he is and dig up the real dirt. Regurgitating US foreign policy pu** ain't good enough...

      December 4, 2014 at 9:40 am | Reply
  6. chri§§y

    Maroon is a color @ Philip! Drinking? And so early in the day wow!

    November 20, 2014 at 11:34 am | Reply
    • Philip

      Stop trying to change the topic to About Philip, you old gossip hag.

      November 20, 2014 at 11:43 am | Reply
  7. chri§§y

    I believe YOU already did that @ Philip!

    November 20, 2014 at 12:15 pm | Reply
  8. chri§§y

    You keep attempting these "drive by tactics" also known as "Smash and Dash" of yours in the middle of the night, and then have the audacity to cry FOUL now??

    November 20, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Reply
  9. Philip

    60 trillion dollars worth of underground manufacturing facilities were in fact built by the two superpowers during the so-called "Cold War". Terrified citizens spent trillions more having "bomb shelters" built in their back yards. ALL WASTED MONEY. Not one single bomb was dropped or missile fired during the entire phony war. Which was nothing more than an excuse for superpowers to spend trillions and having citizens so frighted so as to go along with underground construction projects even though not knowing what they were for.
    And to this day neither Russian nor American citizens know exactly what was built or what is being built underground today. And really, aren't even interested in knowing. They rather sit on fat ass and gossip all day.

    November 20, 2014 at 12:36 pm | Reply
    • yskjs

      Put that way Philip, it makes sense. There's no weapon that's more powerful than fear, and obviously worth a lot of money...

      December 4, 2014 at 9:50 am | Reply
  10. Philip

    The same men behind the phony Cold War already had the founder of Bitcoin assassinated, you freaking maroon.

    November 20, 2014 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  11. chri§§y

    Lmao @ Philip...and HOW is it that YOU know when the Russians dont? What an imagination you have MORON!

    November 20, 2014 at 12:43 pm | Reply
    • Philip

      Neither Russian nor American citizens have ever been officially informed or shown exactly what is being built in those underground facilities, Chrissy. I know because I've been investigating it for over 30 years. You never even asked yourself what is being built underground let alone actually spent TV time investigating.
      You are a typical American. Ignorant, and like it that way.

      November 20, 2014 at 12:50 pm | Reply
  12. chri§§y

    What exactly, do you USE to tint automobile windows @ Philip??? And WHY would anyone think a window guy should be privy to government "secrets"? Maybe you need to stop huffin paint, or whatever you use to tint them windows! Its clearly had an adverse affect on you!

    November 20, 2014 at 12:47 pm | Reply
    • Philip

      Glass man, not window guy. And because I have old customers that are retired Military Intel, and keep up to date on what Military Intel whistle blowers say today. You don't. You are happy pretending that aliens make "UFOs" and nothing is going to change your mind.

      November 20, 2014 at 12:53 pm | Reply
  13. chri§§y

    Lmao move over Disney...theres a new kid on the block! The greatest MISadventures of Philip!!! Good luck selling that hot mess!

    November 20, 2014 at 1:02 pm | Reply
  14. chri§§y

    You can call it "How we progressed from Cold War to Hot Mess in zero to ZERO seconds!"

    November 20, 2014 at 1:11 pm | Reply
    • yskjs

      chrissy, to me it seems that is took even less time than that, seeing the mess that the world still is in...

      December 4, 2014 at 9:55 am | Reply
  15. chri§§y

    The communist Soviets and their buddies India Hinddoos attacked and invaded Afghanistan and killed millions of people and millions were made homeless and refugees. Families devastated.

    The whole country was destroyed. Mosques were bulldozed and Afghan women raiped.

    After fierce fighting, Americans helped the Afghanis liberate their country and defeated Communist Soviets and their allies India. US provided military equipment support to defeat these communists.

    These same hinddoos are now raiping Afghanistan again and stripping the country of its natural resources and minerals. Forests have been stripped and mined millions of acres of them. No compensation has been paid.

    Moreover, them hinddoos are now smuggling drugs processed from poppy cultivation in Afghanistan to Europe and USA and making young kids in these countries drug addicts.

    November 20, 2014 at 1:54 pm | Reply
    • yskjs

      Yes chrissy, isn't geopolitics a great game, with some wonderful side effects?

      December 4, 2014 at 9:59 am | Reply
  16. chri§§y

    Use your OWN name @ my troll!

    November 20, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Reply
    • chri§§y

      Shut up and mind your business @a zzhole.

      November 20, 2014 at 2:14 pm | Reply
  17. Grand Poobah


    1. National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB)

    2. United People's Democratic Solidarity (UPDS)

    3. Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO)

    4. Bodo Liberation Tiger Force (BLTF)

    5. Dima Halim Daogah (DHD)

    6. Karbi National Volunteers (KNV)

    7. Rabha National Security Force (RNSF)

    8. Koch-Rajbongshi Liberation Organisation (KRLO)

    9. Hmar People's Convention- Democracy (HPC-D)

    10. Karbi People's Front (KPF)

    11. Tiwa National Revolutionary Force (TNRF)

    12. Bircha Commando Force (BCF)

    13. Bengali Tiger Force (BTF)

    14. Adivasi Security Force (ASF)

    15. All Assam Adivasi Suraksha Samiti (AAASS)

    16. Gorkha Tiger Force (GTF)

    17. Barak Valley Youth Liberation Front (BVYLF)

    18. United Liberation Front of Barak Valley

    19. United National Liberation Front (UNLF)

    20. People's Liberation Army (PLA)

    21. People's Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK)

    22. The above mentioned three groups now operate from a unified platform,

    23. the Manipur People's Liberation Front (MPLF)

    24. Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP)

    25. Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL)

    26. Manipur Liberation Tiger Army (MLTA)

    27. Iripak Kanba Lup (IKL)

    28. People's Republican Army (PRA)

    29. Kangleipak Kanba Kanglup (KKK)

    30. Kangleipak Liberation Organisation (KLO)

    31. Revolutionary Joint Committee (RJC)

    32. National Socialist Council of Nagaland - Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM)

    33. People's United Liberation Front (PULF)

    34. Kuki National Army (KNA)

    35. Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA)

    36. Kuki National Organisation (KNO)

    37. Kuki Independent Army (KIA)

    38. Kuki Defence Force (KDF)

    39. Kuki International Force (KIF)

    40. Kuki National Volunteers (KNV)

    41. Kuki Liberation Front (KLF)

    42. Kuki Security Force (KSF)

    43. Kuki Liberation Army (KLA)

    44. Kuki Revolutionary Front (KRF)

    45. United Kuki Liberation Front (UKLF)

    46. Hmar People's Convention (HPC)

    47. Hmar People's Convention- Democracy (HPC-D)

    48. Hmar Revolutionary Front (HRF)

    49. Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRA)

    50. Zomi Revolutionary Volunteers (ZRV)

    51. Indigenous People's Revolutionary Alliance(IRPA)

    52. Kom Rem People's Convention (KRPC)

    53. Chin Kuki Revolutionary Front (CKRF)

    54. Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC)

    55. Achik National Volunteer Council (ANVC)

    56. People's Liberation Front of Meghalaya (PLF-M)

    57. Hajong United Liberation Army (HULA)

    58. National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) – NSCN(IM)

    59. National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) – NSCN (K)

    60. Naga National Council (Adino) – NNC (Adino)

    61. Babbar Khalsa International (BKI)

    62. Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF)

    63. International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF)

    64. Khalistan Commando Force (KCF)

    65. All-India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF)

    66. Bhindala Tigers Force of Khalistan (BTFK)

    67. Khalistan Liberation Army (KLA)

    68. Khalistan Liberation Front (KLF)

    69. Khalistan Armed Force (KAF)

    70. Dashmesh Regiment

    71. Khalistan Liberation Organisation (KLO)

    72. Khalistan National Army (KNA)

    73. National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT)

    74. All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF)

    75. Tripura Liberation Organisation Front (TLOF)

    76. United Bengali Liberation Front (UBLF)

    77. Tripura Tribal Volunteer Force (TTVF)

    78. Tripura Armed Tribal Commando Force (TATCF)

    79. Tripura Tribal Democratic Force (TTDF)

    80. Tripura Tribal Youth Force (TTYF)

    81. Tripura Liberation Force (TLF)

    82. Tripura Defence Force (TDF)

    83. All Tripura Volunteer Force (ATVF)

    84. Tribal Commando Force (TCF)

    85. Tripura Tribal Youth Force (TTYF)

    86. All Tripura Bharat Suraksha Force (ATBSF)

    87. Tripura Tribal Action Committee Force (TTACF) Socialist Democratic

    88. Front of Tripura (SDFT)

    89. All Tripura National Force (ATNF)

    90. Tripura Tribal Sengkrak Force (TTSF)

    91. Tiger Commando Force (TCF)

    92. Tripura Mukti Police (TMP)

    93. Tripura Rajya Raksha Bahini (TRRB)

    94. Tripura State Volunteers (TSV)

    95. Tripura National Democratic Tribal Force (TNDTF)

    96. National Militia of Tripura (NMT)

    97. All Tripura Bengali Regiment (ATBR)

    98. Bangla Mukti Sena (BMS)

    99. All Tripura Liberation Organisation (ATLO)

    100. Tripura National Army (TNA)

    101. Tripura State Volunteers (TSV)

    102. Borok National Council of Tripura (BNCT)

    103. Mizoram

    104. Bru National Liberation Front

    105. Hmar People's Convention- Democracy (HPC-D)

    106. Arunachal Pradesh

    107. Arunachal Dragon Force (ADF)

    108. Left-wing Extremist groups

    109. People's Guerrilla Army

    110. People's War Group

    111. Maoist Communist Centre

    112. Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist)

    113. Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist) Janashaktih

    114. Tamil National Retrieval Troops (TNRT)


    November 20, 2014 at 5:03 pm | Reply
    • yskjs

      Now I kinda get it, why it's so important for the Indian govt to fight separatism, when I see that long list. It also reminds me about all the kingdoms that India consisted of before the British Raj took over.
      It's not news that great powers like India mess around with smaller countries in their neighbouhood. Therefore it's no surprise that they're involved in Afghanistan...

      December 4, 2014 at 10:18 am | Reply
  18. bobcat2u

    Well I see the nonsense has been running amok as usual, so :

    A brilliant young boy was applying for a job with the railways. The interviewer asked him: "Do you know how to use the equipment?" "Yes", the boy replied. "Then what would you do if you realized that 2 trains, one from this station and one from the next were going to crash because they were on the same track?" The young applicant thought and replied "I'd press the button to change the points without hesitation." "What if the button was frozen and wouldn't work?" "I'd run outside and pull the lever to change the points manually" "And if the lever was broken?" "I'd get on the phone to the next station and tell them to change the points," he replied. "And if the phone was broken and needed an electrician to fix it?" The boy thought about that one. "I'd run into town and get my uncle" "Is your uncle an electrician?" "No, but he's never seen a train crash before!"

    November 20, 2014 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  19. chri§§y

    Aww thank you @ bobcat! YOU are just what the doctor ordered! 😉

    November 20, 2014 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  20. rupert

    Here goes Fareed again, badmouthing the Russians as usual. I disagree. Besides, I admire anyone who stands up to the right-wing thugs in Washington!

    November 21, 2014 at 10:14 am | Reply
  21. joe

    one wmd strike and everybody will be same shape, ha ha.

    December 3, 2014 at 8:11 pm | Reply
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