History in the Making
I’ve been watching the current “crisis” unfold. I use the polite euphemism “crisis” because I have no idea if I’m looking at World War 3, another Serbian conflict, one of those dreadful, decades-long pointless occupations that America specializes in, Gulf War 14, what. However, today, the international community united to aim dozens of financial, travel, and other restrictions against Russia, destroying its economy. Just so everyone’s clear as to where I stand, morally, ethically, and politically in this matter; I think Russia has been a decades-long menace to global security and prosperity, and the time has come to allow the country to dissolve into the dozen distinct ethnolinguistic groups with a heft DMZ between it and every other country. If anyone were to propose that the EU have complete control of the country, that would get my support. For everyone wondering, if the EU wanted complete control of America, that would also get my support, provided we got Guinness and French cuisine without Irish cooking or French casual corruption.
This morning, however, we caused a run on Russian banks, and I hope the citizenry of the country is mildly as impoverished as they’ve made their Ukrainian neighbors. As any Iranian can tell you, the goal of US sanctions is always to hit the average citizen, and for once, I feel that our gutting Russian oligarch’s wealth is justified. One point I would like to go to, as the first draft of history is written; I saw bank runs in Moscow on Youtube, and was reminded of stories about Germans immediately after the first World War who had to bring wheelbarrows full of cash to buy bred, and how that economic impoverishment lead to a political and economic atmosphere that lead to the rise of fascism, and, in retrospect, it seems so obvious that we were almost custom-making conditions for Mussolini and Hitler to rise in, and it’s not like the fascists are gone — many of them are guests and producers at Fox News. So, I felt I should clarify, to future generations, just why I think we destroyed the ruble and cut Russia off from international aid. I’m not a policy maker, and I know that our government claims these sanctions are designed to punish Putin and his owners in the Bratva, but that seems ridiculous even to me. The rich have always stayed on top; the only that ever changes that are mobs of angry villagers with torches and pitchforks. No, from where I am, I believe crippling the Russian economy has only one ultimate goal: To critically disable Russia’s ability to arm, feed, and pay its armies. To completely depower it and render it vulnerable to either democracy, or, barring that, Spain, France, and Germany, who are always down to siege Moscow. Again, I’m just a voter, but this is to defang an historic American enemy that has decided to become the enemy of democracy and self-determination itself (don’t get me wrong, the US doesn’t have a great track record of that, but we can absolutely fuck up dictators but good).
One thing I am beginning to understand is everyone’s historic love of fighting Nazis. They’re a military walkover, if you can take out the CO first, and then the locals welcome you into the fold, making the occupation that much easier and satisfying. We can talk some other time about the twisted psychological nature of a generation that despises participation trophies but crave the emotional validation that can only come from being hugged by a small child whose village you just liberated.
That seems to be the spirit of Soviet’s child troops. I know that 17–19-year-old soldiers technically meet international rights requirements, but that’s like those 40-year-old men who “wait” until a girl is 18 before asking her out, and make a big deal out of it, so the entire world knows that they really want to date children, but they legally can’t. Russia really wants to send in prepubescents, but some strange sense of decorum (and Russian mothers) probably prevents them. Anyway, it’s pretty clear from what my European friends are saying and the looks on Russian faces that they expected to be greeted with chocolates and flowers, not Molotov cocktails and sunflower seeds (Google it; if there is one thing I can never in a million years top, it’s the delightful bloodthirstiness of a Ukrainian grandmother telling soldiers, “You are unwelcome occupiers. Go away, and take these seeds. put them in your pocket, so we can find you after you lie down.” Shit, the Slavic races are not to be trifled with).
For anyone scouring future records wondering what Western nations thought of the punitive economic sanctions that dismembered Germany in the 1920s, if they’re anything like what we’re currently seeing; yeah, there is an element of short-sided revenge on the Vandal tribes who almost destroyed a continent. The Russian middle class that’s panic buying food and essentials may not have directly supported Vlad & Co. but they tolerated his rule, and they get to share the pain. But there’s also a preventive aspect here — this absolutely can not, must not happen again. For the sake of democracy, Russian government can not be allowed to function, and Russia can never be allowed to rearm or resupply its “military” machine. As a cancer survivor, I know my strategy was, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” and, “If it’s broken, don’t waste time repairing it, just ditch it and look into alternatives.” Right now, I think the overwhelming global sensation is that it’s time to write Russia off and look into replacements.