Skip to comments.Not Even Wrong About Russia: We have to understand what the ruckus is all about
Posted on 03/28/2014 7:12:50 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Wolfgang Pauli once said of a young physicist’s work, “It is not even wrong.” The put-down applies to Republican thinking about Russia: my conservative colleagues don’t even know what the ruckus is about. The Germans know, and that’s why Chancellor Angela Merkel today opposed sanctions against Russia except in the case of further aggression. Her position was echoed by former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt.
Sanctions would throw B’rer Putin into the Briar, er, Bamboo Patch.
A specter is haunting Europe, and that is the specter of a Russian-Chinese alliance at the expense of Europe. China is dynamic, and its dynamism is transforming the “Silk Road” countries that lie across Russia’s southern border. China is building high-speed rail and high-speed internet south to Rangoon and eastward to Istanbul, intent on transforming its neighbors into an export market for high-value-added manufacturing and high-tech products. It’s one of the most remarkable ventures in world economic history, and the most underreported story of the year. My conservative friends have been predicting China’s economic demise every year for the past dozen, and have been wrong each time. They notice the elephant dung, but ignore the elephant.
China’s appetite for Siberian resources, including hydrocarbons and perhaps including water, is limitless. The Russians and Chinese have every reason to suspect each other. But if they put their differences aside, the economic synergies would be extensive. What should worry the West is the prospective synergies in military technology as well. Russia is rolling out the S500 air defense system. We shuddered at the prospect that Russia might provide its 20-year-old S300 system to Damascus or Tehran; we really don’t know how much better the new iteration is, but it might be a great deal better. Chinese rocketry already is good enough to sink any American ship within several hundred miles of its coastline. We really don’t want them to get together.
That’s precisely what may happen if the West succeeds in “isolating” Russia, as Germany’s leading news organization Der Spiegel has been warning. Of course, all this is on the German language site, beamed to the homefolks; the Germans don’t bother trying to explain things to the Anglos any more. Use Google translate if you want to read it.
A fundament of American policy since Henry Kissinger engineered the great opening to China more than four decades ago has been to keep Russia and China from combining against the West. John Lewis Gaddis in his history of the Cold War claims that the U.S. opening to China was the decisive event in winning the Cold War; I have criticized this view in the past for underestimating the importance of the Central Front in Europe, but it surely was a critical dimension of U.S. policy.
Presently, we may undo the work of the Cold War era and stand godfather to a new Sino-Russian alliance. This without doubt would be the stupidest move in the history of American foreign policy. Russia’s economy is weak, but Russia has considerable latent resources in military technology. Russia has a limitless market for natural resources in China and a prospective partner in military technology. If we continue to dismantle our defense capacity while Russia and China nourish theirs, we will be in deep trouble.
The best response to Putin’s challenge would be a massive increase in defense R&D, with a view to neutralizing Russia’s perceived areas of strength in missile and air defense technology (remember how SDI cowed Gorbachev in the 1980s?). That would command China’s respect and reduce Russia’s attractiveness as a prospective partner. The Crimea was, is, and will be Russian, and it’s pointless to cry over milk that was spilled in 1783. We need to think several moves ahead on the chessboard. Otherwise, Chancellor Merkel is quite right: sanctions are pointless.
As for the West’s credibility: the stock price of Gazprom, the Russian state company that ships gas to Europe, jumped more than 5% today while Western leaders gathered to anathemize the beastly Russians. The market, as usual, has the last laugh.
Yup - the latest thing on earth we want to do is drive the Russians into the arms of the Chinese.
We don’t want them both to gang up on us; we’d lose and lose badly.
And drop the shtick about trying to wrest Crimea from Russia; it offends them and makes us look silly without giving us any real leverage over the Russians.
We can cut a deal with them on Ukraine; but attempting to isolate them is bound to fail and will backfire big time.
Above all - never make a threat you can’t enforce. ‘Nuff said. Spengler has good stuff here.
We played “The China Card” against the Soviets.
Now Russia is returning the favor.
The writer of this article may be in over his head with some of his assertions and I’m all for R & D in moderation. But to suggest that increased R & D to untold levels he prefers are a panacea is, to me, a stretch. I believe it was Eisenhower who said “beware of the military industrial complex”.
Also, Russia, from Stalin on particularly and before is among other things a murderous unhappy country which this American will never trust. Any country that as a matter of government policy won’t trust it’s citizens with guns is sick and corrupt to me.
Nice theory but it seems like a bit of a stretch to me. If Putin thinks that a stronger alliance with China is in his best interest he doesn’t need “sanctions” as an excuse to move in that direction. He would just do it.
We have two choices:
We can treat Russia as a partner or we can treat Russia as an adversary.
If we want to go the latter route, we’d better be prepared to rebuild our military strength and encourage our allies to do the same and back them up to the hilt.
If we don’t have the stomach for that, we have no choice but to go along with whatever Russia wants. When we don’t pull our own weight, that too is a fact of international life.
In other words, its time for the US to put up or to shut up.
We can have the smartest foreign affairs people in the world, but we still have Obama as President and Kerry as Secretary of State. Theorists are great, but our implementers come up a little weak.
Bush 1 squandered the once in a lifetime opportunity to bring Russia around as an ally. Imagine the anti-jihadist team that could have been. But that apparently was not a NWO objective, and the left hate them for ditching communism, the neocon reactionaries refuse to recognize that they have.
That implies you believe that a strong America would make the world a safer place. But, making America strong is not part of the Alinsky Plan. That plan calls for the U.S. to become totally irrelevant.
And the plan appears to be working.
.....my worry about what is going on is that Putin could be a second Hitler and therefore that what has in his mind right now could suck us into another war in Europe to do the hard fighting for those pacifist, socialist, communist dictator loving and sickening, won’t work/won’t fight people that habitate that continent. Yes in advance to all you Freepers who can’t wait to point out that NOT ALL OF THEM are as I describe. Save your fingers because History proves that most of em are.
My specific worry concerning the lead up to getting sucked in is that when European Powers gave away the Sudetenland for “peace in our time” that history is CLEAR that doing that only encouraged Hitler and no question it quickly lead us to WWII.
I happen to believe it also encouraged the Japs to see the Allied Powers “do nothing” in response to Hitler marching into Sudetenland (kind of a “if he can do it we can attitude). And, to make matters worse, here’s China raring to go to fight somebody/anybody to distract their teeming masses by threatening Japan over some tiny islands, again, with our gutless president at our helm.
Now, here we are in 2014, approximately 75 years later and we have another little punk tyrant on the March. I was thinking about it last night and decided “talking to myself” that “here we are at a critical time in history that we need a Truman, or a Lincoln or a Reagan or a Washington and we have instead this demonstrably yellow coward that is a socialist, Marxist, communist, muslim inexorably bent on destroying this country”. And, Putin knows it.
Overarching all of it is that there is no question that what Putin is doing in Europe is the biggest danger facing this country today second only to the Democratic Party, Main Stream Media, Obama, Biden, Jarrett and Liberals in general. Oh, and with help along the path from the corrupt component in the GOP(e).
Indeed, what a perfect storm 2008 and 2012 has wrought upon us citizens who only want to work hard each day, raise our kids and live our lives in peace while being “left alone” by BIG government!
Things do not even begin to improve beyond inauguration day, 2017. Depending on who is inaugurated, maybe not even then.