The fate of Russia

If war is the normal state, the thing that the government is permanently adjusted to, then it follows that during times of peace a certain restlessness would pervade. Russia has been invaded so many times that it can not avoid a policy of self preservation above all else. The cost of controlling buffer states such as Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia during the mid to mid-late twentieth century was absorbed by the massively resourced country.

Since nobody was about to invade Russia after the second world war, these costs were wasted and could be the reason that the Soviet Empire eventually collapsed. Communism was a more convenient reason for the West, as Capitalism went from a way to build businesses that employed the bulk of populations, into the high gear of empire building. Russia rose from the ashes of empire but did not, could not, let go of the reins, the very trap of history and reinforcements that the West found useful, until Russia tried to rebuild the Soviet level of control.

Government by paranoia was inevitable as the Kremlin was inherited by the KGB and secret police state. The Cold War did nothing to dispel the idea that the West was poised to invade. Nor did Hollywood’s escalating portrayal of violence and war. You can not reassure a badly bruised victim and Hitler and Napoleon certainly tried to take Russia by force. Russia would find it difficult to accept, after Reagan, that America was not actually about to try and force Russia off the edge of the map. Russia’s perception of being surrounded by enemies may be justified, but it is not useful. It wastes lives and the energy that could have made Russia the richest country in history: instead it struggles with an aging, massive military infrastructure, an arsenal of too many nuclear weapons that must be very expensive to maintain and now it has earned the ire of most of the world with its illegal aggressive and flawed military strategy in Ukraine.

Ukraine fights Russia with the West’s weapons. The fear of escalation by involving NATO in the war is a fear held by both sides. There are no winners in a nuclear exchange. There is no benefit to anyone if the lands destroyed are not inhabitable. And, although Russia has more nuclear weapons, it can not prevent the retaliation even with hypersonic delivery of its firepower. And that retaliation would be the end of Russia. The state of its nuclear arsenal must be a concern to the Kremlin: have they been maintained? Or is it possible that too many red buttons will result in detonation in silos instead of rockets firing? The West may not need to retaliate if Russia destroys itself, first.

The hope is not that Russia destroys itself. It is a wonderful country and culture. But so are the emerging cultures of the former Soviet states and Russia must learn the lesson of history: maintaining a buffer zone is a path to failure as there is no economic rationale for it and destruction of, or even control of your neighbours is economically unsound.

A future treaty between the West and Russia under rational leadership may involve a simple guarantee that the West is not interested in invading Russia any more. Russia gave those guarantees to Ukraine in exchange for the nuclear arsenal and Russia has betrayed that trust. It would be hard for Russia to trust as it has abused trust. It is therefore necessary that Russia chooses a new destiny, not the one that the current leadership has doomed Russia with, this path to economic destruction, extreme poverty and early death.

Russia, it is not too late to change the course of your own history.

Leaders who go insane

The actions of the Vladimir Putin are murderous criminality. That much seems obvious to those not subjected to the traditional propaganda served to the citizens of Russia. During the Soviet times, this was standard fare for the KGB where Putin grew his claws. And now that he has had too much power for too long, his perspective is one that can only be described as rampant insanity. Or cruel evil at its worst.

What is pursuit of ‘purity’? The intolerance of difference? It may be a difficult lesson to learn for the racist, but differences between people provide the richness of life. Because your neighbour does not think the same thoughts as you, there is absolutely no rational reason for thinking that gives you the right to kill them, let alone murdering their babies.

Putin has been in power for too long and the power has disassociated him from any humanity. He is insane. A danger to the rest of humanity and there is nothing that he could now do to be forgiven. It is not my personal philosophy to wish a person dead, but Putin has crossed so many lines of decency, there seems no reason for him to continue to destroy the lives of others. He quotes The Bible to explain the sacrifice of Russian soldiers. When they meet God or the Devil, they may realise that they have been brutally lied to. There is no honor in slaughter, there is no relief in genocide.

Dangerous leaders who have too much power are labelled ‘mad’ or ‘insane’. It seems that too much power corrupts the mind, creating a false sense that there is a philosophy to be followed due to a set of beliefs that history has passed down. The role of a leader is to bring about positive change.

Putin, it is time to stop. Your leadership will destroy Russia.

Russian Spy poisonings

It is hard to trust the word of either government.

Britain has a government that pursues an extreme agenda saying it is the “will of the people” when that is clearly untrue. The accusation against Russia, in this case, does appear logical but the photos of two men is hardly enough evidence to take Putin to the Hague or for reparations. It could feasibly be a “false flag” incident.

Putin’s statement that they are civilians is not very well supported by the two men’s story, which sounds rather silly, especially their statement that men would not carry women’s perfume on a plane without arousing suspicion. Who else would target enemies of the Russian state?

The UK has already spent millions on this. Due process is expensive. Russia has lost far more due to sanctions.

You got to ask, who benefits? Who are enemies of both states?

See also: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/13/skripals-russia-putin-salisbury-poisoning-suspects-interview

Problems with Russia

Which problem is it? 

If the Russian government is absolutely innocent in the Novichok poisoning even if nobody believes them, it implies their criminal community must own some dreadful weapons.  Seems horribly possible.

Or, Putin is lying.  Also horribly possible.  Or even a coup could be forming.  Good lordy.

The world needs to step-up in the recovery of illegal stocks of chemical weapons that Russia obviously is or has been a source of, from Governments and criminals before they end up in the hands of insane terrorists.

It is a reminder that there is a reason for political stability.  Reagan may have broken the USSR, but a new form of Empire may now rebuild around a stronger Russia.  If the Government can build trust where America may be failing to do so.  These poisonings are very damaging to Putin, the need to exterminate a spy only appeared to have value as punishment, but who knows?  

Now that Britain seems determined to deconstruct their best defense from Russia.  The EU with Britain is stronger as a reason for the growth of what we understand as “democracy” (if only we could live up to it ourselves!).

Britain leaving the EU could mean Russia taking back some Eastern European allegiances because the power balance shift will create a vacuum and Russia could evolve into a very competent democracy overnight.  Volatility has consequences.

Syria Strike

Trump, Macron and May strike targets in Syria and avoid hitting Russian targets. The fog of war instantly rises, the Russians say the majority of missiles were shot down and the Americans say each one hit their targets.

If they degrade Bashir al Assad’s ability to use chemical weapons, then they have achieved a goal. If they hit any Russian targets, they have achieved something else.

In an excellent analysis, Andrew Adonis has this to say about it. He sees Theresa May’s action as avoiding an embarrassing vote in the Parliament which may not agree that taking non-effective action is a priority. Alignment with Trump may demonstrate to Putin that the UK is to be taken seriously however laughable the net balance of actions by this government are.

Green MP, Caroline Lucas points out that acting before the OCWP can inspect is ridiculous.

The problem with this kind of military gesture is that the powers that order it have no real idea of the consequential effect. Right-Wing Tories keep trying to point out that a vote in Parliament got David Cameron a defeat but is not the scrutiny of the parliament desirable before we run into accidental war with Russia? Our lack of preparedness for war is obvious enough. Is the Government expressing a fear that protection by Trump is entirely necessary

Trumpism

The Trump Doctrine is to lash out and then realise that was not a very good idea. A prime example is his reaction to Syria’s use of chemical weapons. He calls the leader of that stricken country an “animal” for killing a number of people with “nerve agents” and Chlorine gas and plans to send in the missiles. Except that Russia threatened him back and now he has to negotiate for fear of starting a firestorm and losing major assets as Russia threatened.

The legal point that it is an internal matter for Syria and that independence is the very heart of sovereignty that other nations have no business undermining. Oh, but if “we let Syria use chemical weapons” then “they will again, with impunity”. Understandable sentiment. The world would be a better place without weapons that kill people indiscriminately. Gassing the civilian population is not necessarily as evil as dropping an H Bomb, but it causes unbelievable suffering and only with effective action can their use be stopped.

But the May government in Britain believes that Syria’s sponsor, Russia, used a Novichok nerve agent in the UK to remove a retired spy. She has acted as though it were proven with evidence and it seems “the right thing to do” to most conservative idealists.

But is it? And is her plan to attack the government of Syria going to result in a war between the UK and Syria, or more significantly, with Russia?