Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Chimpanzees With Nukes

Behold, in all its self-destructive glory, how Russia is their own worst enemy. A true foreign plot against Russia would put exactly who is now ruling Russia into power to wreck the country.

But this isn't humorous. My pucker factor is truly rising as I contemplate how Putin and his idiot minions could plunge us into war.

But note this from Strategypage's tour of the clusterfuck that Russia has created for itself:

Russia can downplay this [economic mess] in the state controlled media but without all that foreign and Russian capital the economy cannot grow. Inflation and unemployment remain high and there is not much the government can do about it. Eventually the growing economic problems will overwhelm the nationalistic mass media campaign.

Why will the economic problems overwhelm the nationalism? Why wouldn't Putin ramp up the nationalism--perhaps not even intending a short but glorious war, but by going to the brink on the assumption that President Obama will back down first--to smother the economic discontent?

As I've noted before, sanctions are often irrelevant to international relations. If weak enough, the target shrugs it off or endures the pain.

But if the sanctions are--alone or in combination with low oil prices and stupidity--harsh enough to inflict real pain, the target may well think of sanctions not as an alternative to war but a part of a war being waged on them.

And if the sanctions are effectively a siege and a weapon of war, why would the Russians refrain from using kinetic means of war more to their advantage to fight back?

As Japan did on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese response to our oil embargo was to launch a wide-ranging war in Asia and the Pacific.

So the Russians could go to war--or risk war--to increase the power of nationalism to support the government in the face of economic problems that erode support for the government.

Barely sentient chimps with nukes, they seem these days. Have a super sparkly day.


UPDATE: If you sense utter contempt for the Russians, you're right.

I had hoped that post-Soviet Russia would join the West after discarding communism as the failure it is. While NATO has moved east at the request of the former outposts of the Soviet empire, NATO has disarmed and has not moved its forces east. NATO posed no military threat to Russia. Period. Despite loud Russian accusations about the NATO threat.

Really, this loud posturing against a weak NATO threat seems more about concealing Russia's appeasement of a growing China that looms over Russia's weakly held Far East.

And while Russia's complaint that the West is seeking a "color revolution" in Russia is ludicrous--sorry Russia, we really didn't think much about you until you invaded Crimea--if Russia's autocrats are threatened by popular sentiment for freedom, you have to concede that the very existence of a democratic West is a threat to autocratic Russia which has people who would rather not live without freedom.

And they have nukes. So flinging poo is the least of our problems with these people. I keep some hope that when the last Soviets die out that Russia will behave like a normal country. I wonder if that is a futile hope. Russians may be their own worst enemy.