Monday Message Board

Back again with another Monday Message Board.

Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please. If you would like to receive my (hopefully) regular email news, please sign up using the following link. You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin, at my Facebook public page   and at my Economics in Two Lessons page

54 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. Correction to my last post: If Russia were to commit 500,000 troops to Ukraine that would leave 350,000 regulars plus 250,000 reservists and 250,000 paramilitary to defend the entirety of Mother Russia.

    Gulf War numbers suggest Russia would need at least 1,000,000 troops to subdue all of Ukraine. And they would have to all be better quality and better equipped than what they have sent so far. And they would have needed to start with a better strategy and they would need more resource, military and financial backing than the 37 Allies committed to the Gulf War. Worth noting that a 35 nation coalition prosecuted the Gulf War as allies supplying troops and units (nearly 1 million allied troops) and Japan and Germany in addition helped finance the war. Compare that capability and backing to Russia’s capability and backing. Ukraine will be a tougher nut to crack than Iraq. Most of Iraq’s conscript troops folded, surrendered or were routed by the 100,000s. Ukraine’s troops are “fighting like lions”.

    I don’t usually use the word evil. Too many religious and supernatural connotations for my taste. But in this case I will make an exception. Putin and his regime are evil. As evil as natural denizens of earth can be. There can be no peace while Putin’s regime exists.

  2. “Saudi Arabia executes 81 men in one day in largest mass execution in decades”

    Saudi Arabia sancations too.

    Australia has “deviant beliefs”, as Saudi does. Compatmentalisation covers complicity.

    “Saudi Arabia has executed 81 men, … the kingdom’s biggest mass execution in decades. The number dwarfed the 67 executions reported there in all of 2021 and the 27 in 2020.

    “Offences ranged from joining militant groups to holding “deviant beliefs”, the ministry said in a statement.

    Trade is blind.
    DFAT – Saudi Arabia country brief
    “Saudi Arabia is an important trading partner for Australia. In 2019, the two-way goods and services trade totalled $1.78 billion. Saudi Arabia is a substantial market for beef, sheep meat, barley, wheat, dairy products, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, vehicle parts and accessories and vegetables.

    “Saudi Arabia is also an important source of investment into Australia with an estimated $3.9 billion worth of assets (2018).

    “People-to-people contacts are an important aspect of the relationship, with over 6,200 Saudi students studying at Australian education institutions in 2019.”…

  3. There has been lots of talk about how the response to Ukrainian refugees in western Europe has been more generous than to those from Syria or Afgahnistan, usually pointing to the racism of it. Not wrong, also distracting from how inadequate the response is this time aswell. Millions are staying in molawia, where the poorest population in Europe lets them stay in their homes. Meanwhile the German foreign minister is proadly enouncing to organice direct flights to Germany for a couple of thousand….. That´s ridiculous, and they can also expect to be housed in gyms for a long time.

  4. With so much misery, natural and human made, and a hot war in the Ukraine, I recalled a political joke from the days of the cold war, which was told to me by my Finish friend, Eija.

    The story is that Leonid Brezhnev, Head of the then Communist USSR, met Urho Kekkonen, Prime Minister of Finland in Finland. At the end of their joint dinner, Brezhnev said to Kekkonen: “Comrade Kekkonen, don’t you think it is time for our two countries to unite.” Kekkonen answered: “Comrade Brezhnev, this is an interesting proposition. I’d like to sleep over it.” Brezhnev agreed. The next morning at breakfast table Brezhnev was already waiting eagerly for Kekkonen to arrive. “Well, Comrade Kekkonen, what is your answer?” Brezhnev asked. Kekkonen replied: “After considerable thought, I have come to the conclusion that I am too old to rule over such a big country.”

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