Soviet Union’s Russian Republic’s greatest per capita consumer of Viagra® has played his dictator card again, following the template he established with the military bullying of Georgia (the country, and not the American state which has long since left civil society). Hands are wrung:
Why Russia no longer fears the West
Ben Judah / Politico
The West is blinking in disbelief – Vladimir Putin just invaded Ukraine. German diplomats, French Eurocrats and American pundits are all stunned. Why has Russia chosen to gamble its trillion-dollar ties with the West?
Western leaders are stunned because they haven’t realized Russia’s owners no longer respect Europeans the way they once did after the Cold War. Russia thinks the West is no longer a crusading alliance. Russia thinks the West is now all about the money.
Putin’s henchmen know this personally. Russia’s rulers have been buying up Europe for years. They have mansions and luxury flats from London’s West End to France’s Cote d’Azure. Their children are safe at British boarding and Swiss finishing schools. And their money is squirrelled away in Austrian banks and British tax havens.
Putin’s inner circle no longer fear the European establishment. They once imagined them all in MI6. Now they know better. They have seen firsthand how obsequious Western aristocrats and corporate tycoons suddenly turn when their billions come into play. They now view them as hypocrites—the same European elites who help them hide their fortunes….
As somebody said somewhere sometime, if what you have is a hammer, then all the world looks like a nail. This is nonsense, of course: a projection of the writer’s understandable anxiety about the Global Kleptocracy. This morning, I have seen all KINDS of “Russian” experts, all spouting the wildest crap and hallucinations possible.
Occam’s Razor suggests a far simple historical precedent: Putin believes he can get away with it.
It has been obvious for a long time that Vlad the Drunk Sailor has a little megalomania problem, combined with the Dictator’s Delusion: he conflates himself with the State itself. He makes no pretense that he is NOT upset that Boris Yeltsin “gave away” the former Soviet Union’s “power.” And he wants it back.
Ironically, the Soviet Union’s power MOSTLY came from its perception by the Pinkerton Intelligence agencies of the West, who attributed the USSR with far more military power than it actually had — flattering to the KGB who analyzed and even believed this self-serving nonsense — the perception of which allowed the Military Industrial Media Complex to feather their nests from the late 1940s through the early 1990s, the “True Religion” of American politics, all but forgotten by current generations, but ineluctably ingrained into the psyches of too many (United States of) Americans.
This delusion is much like the absurd proposition that USAers are the ONLY “Americans”: a dangerous overstatement of facts.
‘American’ idjit without a spellcheck.
Dangerous inasmuch as Vlad the Manure Trailer’s fake perception of the Soviet Union’s former “power” drives his need to return to a state that never actually existed. The big takeaway from the end of the Cold War is that the USSR was never better than a belligerent Third World country with nuclear weapons. Their navies were rusting, their planes were rusting, their various military strengths were wildly exaggerated to feed the war profiteering of the MIM Complex — where almost all that Iraq/Afghanistan War cash ACTUALLY ended up.
Putin, thinking only in chess terms, has taken the “unprotected” pawn, which he feels somehow belongs to Russia, based on the conquest of Peter the Great.
Queen of the New Russian Empire
Vlad the Historical Failer only sees things through that Cold War lens imposed by his KGB lineage — hilariously, KGB somehow transformed into the hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church (don’t ask). And, like another bloody fool of the XXth Century, has decided that, because of the “ethnic” ties to South and East Ukraine, he can, with impunity “annex” as in Annexing the Sudentenland, which was Hitler’s gambit to grab a chunk of Czechoslovakia using the same rationalizations with the same end: I dares ya to do anything about it.
‘Judgment at Nuremberg’
OK. But man does not live by guns alone, and Russia’s butter isn’t in particularly good shape otherwise.
The notion that he now hates the West because of the Kleptocracy (OK: not “hate” but “has contempt”) is a questionable thesis, given how little room Vlad the Asthma Inhaler’s mirror affords any reflection but his own. He believes himself to be in the lineage (although he hasn’t expressly said so) of the old Czars.
How intriguing that the current “crisis” focuses on the Crimea, which some of you might remember from the Crimean War.
Because we play and replay our histories and the Santayana quote goes here.
The morons of the world want to rattle their sabers and screech about retaliation and military options, but Vlad the Dim Failure thinks he’s ‘gamed out’ the military chess game. Alas, the world is no longer the province of big armies of conquest. What he hasn’t gamed out is the resulting economic troubles he’s bringing down on a never-better-than-anemic quasi-Third World economy. This isn’t the old days when Russia could offer Nasser the Aswan Dam, or Saddam a fleet of Russian tanks.
No: the gangsters who form the backbone of the Russian economy might find THEIR kleptocracy severely curtailed by Vlad the Drywall Nailer’s territorial expansion fantasies. Hell, he can’t even deal with the territory he’s already got.
And, if history can be any indication, Vladimir Putin is not exactly an expert on economics or economies (the thesis of the article in dispute above).
Chesswise, there’s no countervailing MILITARY move the West can engage in. But the courtesy of pretending the Russia belongs in the G8 economically can end, and probably will. The problem with megalomania is that it overemphasizes one’s strengths and minimizes one’s weaknesses. The bloody scroll of history is testimony to the foolishness of these notions.
In other words, we have a Nineteenth Century would-be emperor attempting to reassemble an Empire of Ordure.
The destabilizing effects in a country already dealing with Chechen guerrilla warfare and increasingly paranoid about terrorist attacks cannot be understated. If someone inadvertently puts a few bullets through Putin’s head, it will not be a surprise. Live the sword, die by the sword. But, the real issue is that Putin, almost irrevocably, will become more and more paranoid and more and more isolated within his faux-imperialist bubble.
Perhaps he’ll even end up like paranoid Joe Stalin, who, at the end, lived his life as an MX missile, shuffling unpredictably between endless identical apartments within his “domain” — barely able to sleep for the uneasiness of the head that wore the invisible crown.
Not a fate to be envied.
Stalin the Stiff
This confirms the sense of foreboding I had watching the Winter Olympics (a sense that caused me to pretty much tune out the spectacle after the first few days), that I can only describe as a premonition/memory of the 1936 Olympics in Berlin — an event choreographed and built around the ego of one turd floating in the punchbowl of history.
Vlad the Ultimate Failure ought to have a reality check available, but, as with all historical “bubbles” (think of the GWBush Torture White House) vanity is reinforced while real world feedback is minimized, with, ultimately, disastrous results. (Iraq is melting down, although the egos of American warmongers and molting hawks will only pretend that it’s the Black Guy’s fault, and was NOT inevitable from the very first moment we invaded and failed to be showered with flower petals.)
This-is-how-big-it-is Cheney, explaining
how the Iraqis would shower US invaders
with flowers when we invaded, in one of the
most infamously astonishingly dumb
statements of the era.
The Western saber-rattling is pointless, as is Putin’s notion that grabbing some territory without global/strategic value in any realpolitic sense won’t come back to bite him in the ass.
I don’t have to be a “Russian expert” to smell the stench of self-adulation tingeing this entire idiotic exercise.
Nor do I have to be an economic prognosticator to realize that Putin’s great economic lever — natural gas and oil to Europe — will now be seen as an unreliable weapon and will lose tremendous (if not total) power as a weapon he can wield. Trust is the key to Russia’s economic resurgence and integration into the world economy, and Putin has pretty much knocked THAT into a cocked hat.
Because Putin doesn’t recognize that same truth that I warned of with Dickless Cheney and George “Wackadoodle” Bush: once the dogs of war are loosed, they can seldom be easily called back to their kennels.
And an unstable world struggling to feed itself is destabilized by another madman attempting to annex another Sudentenland.
The telling moment came yesterday, when I watched the Russian Ambassador explaining to the Security Council how unfair the Security Council was being by letting members other than he, the vice-chair and the Ukrainian Ambassador speak, and then went into an endless tirade “judging” the internal politics of Ukraine without happening to mention the thousands of troops inserted into Crimea, “Red Dawn” style, in utter defiance of any commonly held notion of “sovereignty.”
And I thought: Used to be that American Rightie Bloggers sounded like old line Russian Propagandists. Now, Russian stooges sound like right wing bloggers.
Plus ça change.
Putin may have gamed it out militarily, but historically, he doesn’t have a clue.
Good will and trust, hard-won, never returns easily, if at all.
The Russian Navy colluding with the treasonous Ukrainian Navy Chief
And the Russian people will pay the price for this thug’s bar fight mentality.
Oh, and the Right Wing of American Treason will exclusively recycle old Cold War hate-religion rhetoric, but mostly focus on why this is all President Obama’s fault. Not a very difficult prophesy, that last.
A writer, published author, novelist, literary critic and political observer for a quarter of a quarter-century more than a quarter-century, Hart Williams has lived in the American West for his entire life. Having grown up in Wyoming, Kansas and New Mexico, a survivor of Texas and a veteran of Hollywood, Mr. Williams currently lives in Oregon, along with an astonishing amount of pollen. He has a lively blog His Vorpal Sword. This is cross-posted from his blog.