Friday, March 21, 2014

Western international diplomacy as a dead baby joke

I have just been watching the news and, frankly, I ended up laughing.

First, I saw the Eurobureaucrats adding another 12 or so names to a list of 20 or so (sorry, I was not paying attention) names which are going to be on the sanctions list.  The US did something similar yesterday.  Looking at that circus, I was wondering: does these imbeciles really believe that these puny sanctions of 30-40 individuals will make Russia suddenly change course, apologize and leave Crimea? Have they forgotten that during WWII Leningrad was blockaded by German forces for nine hundred (900!  Not 33 like Hezbollah or 78 like the Serbs - 900) days and that it was pounded by the German Air Force and artillery during each one of these 900 days, that most men died and that the city at the end was defended by mostly women, that hunger was so bad that people were making "soup" from glue used to put up posters, that medicine had run out and that the winter colds were brutal and yet that the Russian people did not surrender?!  Don't they understand that for Russians Crimea is at least as important as Stalingrad was?  Do they seriously think that their stupid little sanctions will affect a country which was - and still is - willing to go to war over Crimea?

Amazing.  Just amazing...

Then, I saw that western credit rating agencies were about to lower the credit rating of Russia (which up to now had been BBB, iirr).  Russia with a debt of 12% would be lowered, while the USA with a debt over 100% maintained a AAA.  Who is going to take that seriously.  But even better, the net result of that will be that it is going to be more expensive for Russians to get financing from western banks.  Again, I wonder in total awe.  Do these western financiers really not know that the issues of the high interest rates inside Russia (in comparison to the interest rates enjoyed by Russian companies with their corporate headquarters in the EU and US) was a major political issues which constantly opposed the "Eurasian sovereignists" to the "Atlantic integrationists"?  (for an explanation of these terms see here, here and here).  Think of it - what does Putin want?  He was a) a bigger share of investment in Russia coming from Russian banks, b) more companies incorporated in Russia c) a way to prevent Russian officials from having any assets abroad.

Frankly, Russia and Putin owe the western financiers and bureaucrats a big "thank you!!" for helping the Eurasian sovereignists in their struggle against the Atlantic integrationists...

Then, I saw the EU singing the political part of the Association Agreement with the Ukraine.  Amazing!!  Here are all these pompous "democrats" signing a document with representatives of an armed revolutionary regime which has exactly zero legitimacy.  They could have waited until May when "elections" organized under the "auspices" of the Right Sector and the Freedom Party would clearly yield the "correct" result and thereby give a micron-thin layer of legitimacy to the revolutionary regime.  But no!  They must be so afraid that even Nazi-run elections might not yield the "correct" result that they sign these documents now.  Which is stupid for two reasons: first, it shows that these western plutocrats don't care at all about "democracy" or "democratic legitimacy", but that they are apparently unaware that any document signed by this revolutionary regime is very easy to overturn on the grounds the folks signing it had no right to do so.

What in the world are these folks in the EU smoking?!  Bath salts?!

And then, to really make me laugh, I saw a hilarious interview of Putin.  He was asked by an already laughing reporter why, in his opinions, did the folks which ended up on the sanctions list deserve such a distinction - were they his personal friends (mostly no) or did they have anything to do with Crimea (mostly no).  Putin replied with laughter in his eyes, but with an otherwise serious face "I have to be honest and make the following confession (he bows his head): yes, these guys were the "polite armed men in green" that were seen in Crimea! And their last names are kinda weird - Kovalchuk, Rotenberg, Timchenko - typical Moskals!".  Putin can be very funny when he wants and this topic clearly makes him laugh.

To be serious, I really am amazed by what is going on.  Western politicians seem to be stuck in total "lala land" or "bizarro world" (pick your expression).  There is such an absolute disconnect between what is actually happening in Banderastan (north and west), the rump-Ukraine (east and south), Crimea and Russia on one hand, and the mental representation which people in the West seem to have about it that I often wonder, yet again, whether the world has not gone completely mad.  I almost feel sorry for western politicians when I hear them speak.  They sound like a flat-earth society meeting and yet they try so hard to look dignified and important it's almost sad.  I say almost, because I realize that these want-to-look-dignified politicians are also the prime culprits for the hell which the (now ex-) Ukraine is going through.

Lastly, I am amazed to see that the White House does not realize a basic dilemma it is facing: either the sanctions against Russia are ridiculously ineffective or, in theory, they could really hurt Russia (booting Russia out of the SWIFT system, revoking overflight and landing rights for Russian airlines, etc.).  Then what would happen?  Does the White House not know that Russia holds US$164 billion in US Treasury Securities?  That Russia could simply shut down the northern evacuation route for US forces in Afghanistan?  The millions of dollars in US and EU investment in Russia ( US$300,1 billion) could also be seized?  That Russia can shut down the "northern route" to US ships or stop cooperating on security and terrorism issues?  Fundamentally - does it do any good for the US to really hurt Russia (assuming that it could)?

The US and EU remind me of a toddler playing with a hand grenade: either it is a very boring toy and nothing happens, or it works, but then you are dead.

Western international diplomacy as a dead baby joke - how pathetic....

The Saker