The slide into World War Three has begun. Not what Putin wanted, but a very real possibility. He won’t be the first dictator to get what he deserves rather than what he wanted.
Putin rightly decided that there was a serious lack of leadership in the West and assumed that now was the time to start pushing hard to recreate a fascist Soviet Union, absorbing all the states that broke free when the old Soviet Union collapsed.
He could see Britain without a real Government as the LibCon/LibDem coalition began to unwind in the approach to the 1915 General Election. He was greatly encouraged by Ed Milliband voting against any action to protect Syrians from Putin’s friend and client Assad.
He saw the laughable EUSSR as a paper tiger with a clown as President and a useless former quango queen as Lord High Eurocrat for Foreign Affairs and Direct Action.
Crucially, he recognized just how useless Hussein Obama was and how the US was busy scrapping its military to fund the seriously flawed ObamaCare program that is so flawed that US legislators took early steps to exempt themselves from its provisions.
What he overlooked is that a cornered rat can be very dangerous and the global communications now available to virtually every citizen in the world makes it very difficult to use the old dictator’s trick of claiming to be ‘protecting’ his nationals and then attempting to destabilize the target country and force it to fight back. The Russian position if as laughable as the potential protectors of Ukraine are incompetent clowns.
As information continues to come out of the Russian Occupation Zone in Crimea, it appears that the Ukraine is fighting back in a very civilized way. Ukraine soldiers are marching on the Russians without weapons. This is brave and may prove tragic in the short term but dramatically increase pressures on Putin. There are emerging stories that unarmed Ukraine civilians have been planning to create unarmed protective rings around the besieged Ukraine military installations in the Crimea and that the Russians are trying to turn of power and water to the besieged sites. This may lead on to further Russian brutality and expose the Russian actions for what they are even to the most obtuse.
Paralympians are placed in a very difficult position because their natural desire to compete after long months of training weigh against the natural human desire to avoid any action that could give even the smallest comfort to Putin’s fascists. Banning Officials from travel to the Paralympics is not adequate and a call should go to athletes to appeal to their sense of humanity and honour, while plans to restage the Paralympics in a democratic country should receive priority.
The economic sanctions come in two parts. The markets reacted very quickly, wiping billions off the value of Russian stocks and its currency value. The more damaging actions will take longer and for Russians offer the further danger that the sanctions are like a super tanker – they take a while to get started, but then prove very difficult to stop. Even if Putin decided to withdraw completely from the Ukraine, including the removal of the Black Sea fleet from the Crimean bases, the Russian economy will continue to be hit for months to come as legal sanctions take time to disengage and the finance community takes time to recover any confidence in Russian markets.
The longest term damage to the Russian economy could prove to be to its gas and oil production. Europe has received a wakeup call and wise politicians, and there are some still, will look to ways of dramatically reducing dependence on Russian oil and gas, steps that should have been taken a long time ago but were frustrated by climate fraudsters. With the decline of North Sea oil and gas, fracking offers Britain a very real prospect of regaining control of its energy needs.
In the short to medium term the very real danger is now presented as NATO reviews the situation. Poland has called for an emergency meeting and the NATO treaty calls on all members to support any single or multiple members who are threatened. Poland and the other former western slave states of the USSR, who have already joined NATO, fully understand General Putin and his mafia friends. They know that Russian annexation of the Ukraine or any part of it precedes threats directly to them. There is a very real possibility that NATO will go to full war alert in response to the Russian mobilization. If Russian continues to expand out of the Crimea, NATO could well move into the Ukraine in response to the calls already made by the Ukraine Government, but primarily to protect NATO territory from the Russians. Once that happens a minor action or error anywhere along the front or within Crimea could trigger direct military action from NATO with the very real possibility that this may escalate to nuclear exchanges.
Right now, Putin has recreated both the prelude to WWI and the prelude to WWII. By mobilizing Russian forces it makes the mobilization of NATO almost unavoidable just as the period before WWI saw miscalculation after miscalculation following on from Russian mobilization. As in the run up to WWII, German fascists, just like Putin’s fascists, tried to con the world that the invasion of Poland was just to protect German ethnic groups from Polish violence. Just as Putin has been doing, Special Forces were used, together with propaganda, in an attempt to create the illusion that invasion was only to protect the innocent. In the period before 1914, and in the period before 1939, weak politicians in Britain, France and the US allowed the aggressors to think they were just too weak to present any threat to the aggressors. In the event, even the weak turned and war became a terrible result but one which was inevitable from the miscalculations of the aggressors.
The danger increases because Putin is now as much a victim of circumstances. He is moving beyond the point where he controls events. If he gives in to the international community’s very reasonable demands to withdraw all Russian military forces from the Crimea and the rest of the Ukraine, he may still not be quick enough to avoid the risk of an exchange of fire and descent into all out war.
It will be very difficult for the weak politicians leading the West to avoid military escalation, even though they have no appetite for war. The military will be advising an end to delay and the demonstration of western military strength. That may now be unavoidable, but it is very important for the free world to begin long term actions to remove for generations the ability of Russia to again threaten the peace of the world. A concerted and strategic plan for sanctions will increase the probability that Putin will be overthrown and that he and any surviving conspirators will face war crimes trials. If Western politicians can only work together to a long term plan, war can be avoided but Putin and his cronies can be destroyed.