At the skankworks.net we assess the following factors influencing the West’s options in response to Russia’s new-found self-assertion.
- Military Confrontation: Out of the question. The Cold War may have ended a quarter of a century ago, but the essential military balance has not. Russia and the USA cannot fight each other as they would both lose.
- Economic Sanctions: It would hurt Russia to lose it’s current access to Western markets and imports of essentials, but it would hurt the West just as much, if not more. Russia is self-sufficient in many things, and has enough friends who have long since found ways of getting around US sanctions. While one cannot discount the West from cutting off its nose to spite its face, and they certainly don’t care two hoots about sacrificing our jobs, the effect on the all-important bank balances of Western billionaires will bring pressure to bear from where it counts: Wall St and The City’s 1%.
- Afghanistan: One of NATO’s very-own military occupations, well into its thirteenth year, depends on Russia for supplies to its beleagured “stabilisation force”. Iran will not step-in to help, and Pakistan cannot if it wanted to. Whatever the West appeases its bloodthirsty media with, it cannot be severe enough to provoke Russia into closing down the supply lines.
- ISS: Without Russia the United States will have to forego a manned space-programme until such a time as they can afford their own one again. China, and maybe even Iran, are likely to be there before that happens.
- Iran Nuclear Negotiations: Here again the West, particularly the United States, needs Russia on board if it is to make any progress. Just as they need Russia’s co-operation on the removal of Syria’s CW.
- Propaganda: Do nothing except hold endless meetings, let events run their course, and then pretend the West won the day. Encourage media talking-heads to gush over how strong resolute American nerve and the stiff upper lips of British toffs forced the Slavic hoardes to back-off into their Mongol hinterland. This kind of racially-offensive posturing is generally effective in the West but only when pitched at the lowest intellectual level. It’s unsophisticated. It’s crude, but when it’s endlessly repeated by the dullards of the Twittersphere it soon becomes Gospel. It only needs saying once: Repetition works.
- Abandon Maidan: Turning their backs on those who might be seen to have ballsed-up what might otherwise have been a successful regime-change is always an option, but since the terrorist attacks of Sept 11th 2001 the West have grown lairy about allowing those they are dumping to stay alive. Russia would probably turn a blind-eye should a rouge drone, say, accidently shoot a hellfire missile into Yarosh’s auto.
- Break with USA: EU foriegn ministers could, perhaps should, lodge a formal joint-complaint over the ‘Nuland call’ and demand a) an explanation, and b) that the official be removed from her post. In concert the EU should also call a meeting at the UN to discuss the legality of mass surrveilence.
- Admit Defeat and Try to Patch Things Up: Possible but extremely unlikely.
- Dump the Problem on Angela Merkel: This is the most likely scenario, as Frau Merkel has come to understand. She will have to talk to Putin and Yulia and between them work something out. As bizarre as it may have sounded a week ago, a Yulia-led ‘unity’ administration might be the only one left capable of organising a general election out the current chaos.
The unfolding of history being ever full of surprises that in retrospect seem so predictable suggests that something even more bizarre and unpredictable will actually take place.
We look forward to finding out what, and then realising that we should have known all along.