I’d like to say the title is original but it isn’t, I heard it at Esther’s Follies in Austin, Texas way back when George W. Bush was serving BBQ to Putin on his ranch in Texas.
I imagine Putin liked Texas, or at least he felt a kinship with the large ego of the place.
But what Putin is doing now is interesting. He’s got the West exactly where he wants us, frozen in place drooling, mouths hanging open. Western leaders are all standing around with their thumbs in their mouths wondering what to do next.
What they should do is not an easy question. Do we move forward into WWIII? Probably unwise on all sides. But is Putin banking on the fact that the West doesn’t have the cajones to fight? He may be willing to risk it and nip away at one former Soviet Satellite after another until he has the most advantageous parts of all them back under his thumb. What is one step too far before the West steps in and does more than freezing a few bank accounts?
Almost 3/4’s of Russia’s gas exports go to Western Europe and account for about 30% of energy used there (Christian Science Monitor) The USA could work with world energy providers to undermine Putin’s market share. But I suppose Putin could retaliate with price cutting and increasing production to swamp the market.
The bigger question is what rights does the USA believe the people of Crimea have in voting themselves back under Putin’s control? If we believe in Democracy, since we say Democratic action underpinned the coup against the Russian installed (elected) leader of the country, then why not support the people’s decision to be part of Russia again? If they want to be under Putin’s thumb, let them.
I wonder if a stronger Russia bad for the world? They have nukes, we have nukes, stalemate, double check mate, zero sum game. Is a triumvirate of world powers better than two (China and USA)? We seem to think separation of powers is a good thing in three parts. Triangle power and all that jazz.
But maybe a stronger Russia is bad for the world. They suppress human rights, they are not concerned about what is good for anyone but Russians. It is better that their corruption and mafia are contained.
It may be time for the USA to pull back and worry more about what goes on here. It is high time we assert less outward power, especially military power to no end. It is time to spend the money here, re-invest in new industries and training for young people.
The best long term strategy versus Russia and the oil industry is to create new alternative fuels that create true energy independence and separate us from our competitors before they solve the riddle first and we become beholden to them for technology advances.
I am for leaving Eastern Europe concerns for Western Europe to deal with unless they ask for our help. Let’s invest at home rather than worry about who is choosing sides with Putin.