Saturday, April 13, 2013

The "war of the lists" is over, now the serious stuff begins

So finally the US has published its "Magnitsky List" (see full list here).  Russia instantly retaliated with its own list (see full list here).  Now what?


Let's recap what happened.  The US Republicans, now completely controlled by Jewish Neocons, tried to play electoral politics by showing that, unlike the Democrats, they are "tough on Russia".  First, this caters to the traditional Jewish hatred of everything Russia and, second, it also caters to the instincts of those Americans who want to see their country like some kind of cop of the universe.  So the country which has legalized torture and the extra-judicial murder of "enemies" was now seriously expressing its outrage at the death of one man in disputed circumstances. 

Obama and his Democrats wanted none of that since they perfectly understood how ridiculous the entire scheme was.  This is why the actual number of names on the US list has gone from 60 to 240 to 280 to a mere 18 in the final version.  Not only was the list very short, but no major Russian figure was involved.  Something of a wet firecracker, really.

The Russian "retaliatory" list was equally short and limited in scope. The Russians fully understood that Obama had nothing to do with this nonsense, so they kept their response to the required minimum.

Now that this kindergarten-level episode is over, at least until the next elections in the USA, its time to turn back to serious, adult, politics and, first and foremost, the upcoming trip of U.S. National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon to Moscow were he will no doubt present a "grand bargain" to Putin: drop your support for Syria and we will re-deploy our anti-missile system further away from Russia and/or provide some written guarantees about its purpose.

This will be a tempting deal for Putin as it would appear to give him a big political victory.  But, if my instincts about the man are correct, he will reject that deal because he is aware of two crucial facts:

a) the Russian "asymmetrical" response to the US deployment is a cost-effective way to deal with this threat.

b) if Syria falls to the US/NATO/al-Qaeda alliance, Iran and Russia are next.

There will probably be some very tough bargaining, but I want to believe that Putin will remain firm and reject the US offer.

We shall see soon.

The Saker