4 min read
Punishing Putin

by William Thomas

Have you noticed how quickly pretenders go to pieces when their bullying is blocked? And then choose the most destructive response? To themselves. Lost in their insulated echo chamber of paranoia, denial and projection, overpaid Western news entertainers and their “unnamed sources” have been screaming every day for the past three months: “The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!” 

     But the Russians don’t come. 

     And then they do. Suddenly, a diminutive jujitsu master calls bullshit and slaps a feckless comedian and his sponsors upside the head, saying, “Don’t even think about killing more Russians in Donbass and putting NATO and nukes on our border. That is not going to happen.” 

     About four-seconds later, social media is agog with jittery cellphone clips of shrieking jets flying way too low and blurry cruise missiles skimming rooftops en route to Ukrainian military installations. Lots of explosions. And everyone’s bubble bursts and everyone freaks out. Presidents and prime ministers, “Russian experts” and their network shills run around babbling and disoriented, as if they’d never seen this coming. Which seems odd, since they worked so diligently to make it happen. Like every other commodity Russia has in abundance, popcorn sales must be spiking in Moscow as London, Washington and a NATO way past its prime and purpose race around frantically sprinkling troops like magic pixie dust through the European countryside. Along with expensive equipment that is either worn out, obsolete, or too technologically advanced to stand up to the tempo of actual combat for long.

     Bureaucrats who spend most of their time telling each other what geniuses they are, blink in the glare of TV lights and bleat about “protecting Europe from the Russians” — who are looking East and want nothing to do with the place. At least NATO forces — known in gruntspeak as “speed bumps” — are staying well away from Ukraine. Nobody wants to die that match. Or start a nuclear war. By then, politicians and pundits are so busy shrieking about “the most destructive blitzkrieg since World War II,” no one seems to notice that unlike what the US did to North Korea, North Vietnam, Iraq, Kosovo and Syria, Ukraine’s electricity, phones, water, sewage treatment, government offices and broadcasters remain intact. Even the Internet still works! 

     The Germans react by putting a cannon to their heads and jerking the trigger. This time they are really going to show the Russians the Russians the Russians that they can only be pushed so far before doing themselves in. With Germany in the midst of one of the coldest winters in memory, their natural gas reserves at 5%, and neither North America nor Arabia able to make up the shortfall, saying nein to the pipeline that could save them is a masterstroke. 


     Germany’s GDP (Gross Debt Product) is in freefall, European natural gas prices are already north of Pluto (except for the countries that did not rip up their long-term contracts with Gasprom), and Germany’s overpriced, energy-dependent manufacturing is facing severe headwinds on world markets. By forsaking the brand-new $2 billion lifeline the reluctant Russians built, soon there won’t be any German exports at all. Anything to punish a country that unlike the US and EU, protects its borders. 

     With crazy-profitable petroleum sales exceeding the cost of that abandoned pipeline every three days, Moscow’s already written it off. Lavrov and Putin must be looking at each other, saying (in Russian), “You can’t make this up!” 

     As long as missiles and tanks are kept away from their borders, Russians don’t care what the West thinks or does. Not anymore. After years of saying pretty please to their abusers, who needs the aggravation of trying to deal with crazy people who can’t stand the thought of Russia’s existence? The neocons have never forgiven the ex-Soviet Union for refusing to stay supine and have its pockets picked after a drunk named Boris wrecked his own country by listening to American corporate counsel and selling the furniture at fire-sale prices. Before redeeming himself by choosing an up-and-comer nobody had ever heard of to succeed him. And succeed he did. 

     This time they’re going to show Putin Putin Putin that he can’t get away with gobbling up chunks of Russian Ukraine besieged by Ukronazi fanatics just to protect his citizenry at home and next door. Not by actually confronting Russia’s superbly trained, equipped and motivated military, of course. But by unleashing “crippling” sanctions. Coming on top of all the previous crippling sanctions, this final salvo is certain to bring an angry bear to its knees. 

     Only it’s the USA, UK, Europe and their allies who are once again clobbering themselves. Even before their temporarily inconvenienced faux foe retaliates with paw-swiping contingencies put in place long before. Now it’s the NATO countries who are discussing going nuclear. I mean the other nuclear: denying Moscow access to SWIFT. With the USA, EU, Britain and the rest of the world increasingly dependent on Russian wheat, corn, oil and shiploads of other commodities, why not cut off the use of SWIFT for all those banking transactions?   

     That’ll work! Except those pesky Russkies are already doing business with their biggest trading partner using an alternative payment system. If SWIFT is scuttled, everyone else can settle their Russian accounts with cash. Or gold. Or email.

     Come on, kids! You’re dealing with people who don’t rattle easily. And who remember what happened the last time they allowed an enemy to mass on their borders. These are the same folks who fill the streets of Moscow on Victory Day, displaying photos of their fallen family members — the “Immortal Regiment” who endured the horrors of Leningrad and Stalingrad and went on to smash the Wehrmacht at a cost of 30 million Russian dead. Westerners are so busy tearing down our own history, we don’t remember anything. Instead, our leaders’ knee-jerk countermoves to their own folly are so predictably ill-considered they'd be slapstick, if the potential consequences weren’t so dire for the world. “We will not interfere with any nation that insists on hanging itself with its own rope,” Putin once said. 

     Good thing no one in the uncollected West reads him.


Photo Captions

Putin rides a Russian bear

NATO is training troops in Ukraine -therussophile.org.jpeg

Annual March of the Immortal Regiment commemorating the 30 million Russians who died defeating Hitler -dreamstime.com

Putin & BRICS