After the Ukraine, will Russia kiss and make up with the West?

As a small child, I once asked my father why he didn’t beat or slap us, which was not an uncommon practice back then. He’d lots of strong-willed children who’d try the patience of a saint but he glanced down at me knowing I’m sure what had prompted the question. A day or two before, we’d been out for a walk together and seen a man and a women really beat a child for something. I’d never seen anything like that. Standing beside him looking up, I could feel the anger radiating off him. He was almost rigid. It was a side of my always gentle and contemplative Dad I’d never seen before and it’d frightened me.

He explained to me that beating a child was stupid. You’d either end up with a cringing beaten cur or just be teaching them how to take a bloody good hiding and in that case if they still wouldn’t do what you wanted, your only option was to escalate the beatings. He was right of course. For different reasons, both outcomes would be the result of a losing strategy neither of which would be good. Someone with a deep understanding of human nature but also how to draw a practical conclusion out of it. A simple pearl of wisdom like that could only come from a man like that, and I later learnt such men are rare.

The current sanctions and propaganda offense against Russia and Russians in general is developing into that same child beating scenario and it looks to me like it’ll have one of the same two analogous outcomes. Russia becoming a cringing beaten cur? Believe me tovarich, that’ll never happen in a million years. Hitler couldn’t do it, Napoleon couldn’t do it and let’s not forget their former allies in the Great War tried an invasion to restore the czar and they couldn’t do it either.

In WWII, the invading Nazis slaughtered somewhere between a fifth and a quarter of Russia’s population but they never gave up. To give you a feeling for what that means in human terms, apply the same 25% to your own country’s population. Imagine 82 million dead Americans or 16 million dead Britons or 17 million dead Germans or 6 million dead Australians as the price of defeating Hitler. That’s the price they paid. If the West escalates Russia into WWIII, then the West better get used to suffering similar horrific numbers of casualties.

I hated the old USSR and communism but have always held the fortitude and courage of the Russian people in awe. Like a child who’s been on the receiving end of heavier and heavier beatings, they can take whatever pain you want to dish out but it’ll just make them stronger and more determined to get you back.

In the middle of that holocaust, a Russian propagandist whose name escapes me coined a phrase which Russians to this day still remember – “we’ll never forgive, we’ll never forget”. They haven’t and they won’t after the damage the West has tried to inflict on their economy. Distrust of anything coming from the West was already ingrained, but after this war ends – and it will – they won’t be forgetting the sanctions and pure petty spite aimed at them from our direction. It’s already kicking in. Putin’s approval has gone from 61% to 71% as the hate speech has escalated against Russia and Russians in general.

Russian government assets and accounts of people whose only crime appears to be being Russian are getting frozen. It’s basically theft. I’ve yet to hear a single legal justification for such actions which are not even UN approved but of course Russia is simply retaliating but not in its usual tit for tat fashion. Sure, they’re also freezing foreign assets but they’re also seizing them in the territories under their control. Freezing or seizing, what’s the difference? What was frozen can be unfrozen, what’s been seized is now the property of the Russian Federation or whatever corporate entities they choose to give it to. You won’t be getting them back any day soon, if ever. That’s a door being slammed shut in the face of the West permanently.

I don’t propose to go through an exhaustive list of the sanctions being deployed by the West against Russia or the retaliatory ones either because short of a nuclear strike, Russia already has what they call the energy weapon which is instantly deployable and Putin knows exactly how to use it. It’s their exports of gas and oil. That supply can be turned off overnight. For instance, Germany, which is the sole economic powerhouse of Western Europe and the EU now that the UK is out of it, gets about one third of its gas and about half of its oil from Russia.

That weapon can be used both locally in Europe or globally far abroad. Locally for instance, if the sanctions being rolled out against it actually get serious, he’ll turn off Germany’s supply of energy. That’ll crash the German economy and therefore throw Western Europe and the EU into a recession. Remember the 70s when the Arabs lost yet another war against Israel and quadrupled the price of oil to punish the world for supporting Israel? It threw the whole world into what was a near decade long recession with raging inflation that nearly started to approach Weimar Republic levels.

There’s absolutely nothing to stop Putin doing that and after all, he’ll be justified – you tried to destroy our economy, so have a taste of that back. If something you really need is made beyond carrying distance of you, then it has to be transported to you. If the cost of fuel quadruples, then that has to be factored into the retail price of all goods if the producer wants to stay in business. If you severely restrict the supply of any vital commodity, its price will rise. Hey presto, recession and massive inflation occurs almost overnight.

Globally, a bit more deftness is required. He’s talking to both the Saudis and Iran, who’re both refusing to pick up a call from Biden who’s been reduced to cadging some accommodation with the dictator Maduro of Venezuela who is the only major oil supplier who’s interested in talking to Biden. The reality is Venezuela simply doesn’t have either the production or transport capacity to meet American demand and after the gelding Biden did to domestic production, there’s no hope of it rising any day soon to address the current gas price emergency in America, so expect even higher gas prices.

Russia supplies about 4% of America’s oil, so banning it might please those baying for Russian blood, but the net effect of it will be negligible. The other realistic supplier is Saudi Arabia but they won’t be obliging Biden either by boosting production quotas. The Saudis hate the Iranians on the traditional basis of one being Sunni and the other Shia Muslim and both in a fierce competition to be the leadership of the Arab world but the deeper reason is an Iran with a nuclear bomb presents the Saudis with a clear and present danger and America has backed off Iranian sanctions. As a result they’re back to full speed ahead developing their bomb.

As soon as they get it, the madmen in Iran will choose one of three targets: the West, Israel or Saudi Arabia. Guess which one of those three doesn’t have any nuclear retaliatory capability?

From the Saudi viewpoint, the Biden administration has done them no favours, quite the opposite actually. Like Putin, they have no problem crashing the American economy. This craze for freezing cash assets merely means both Russia and China will not be holding significantly much in American dollars, which actually means it’s half way out of the global economic door as the world’s reserve currency. Add in the fact that the Saudis are actively considering selling oil in yuan rather than petrodollars, and it’s not hard to see the dollar losing its status as the world’s reserve currency.

Between them, the Russians and Saudis can taper back production, make obscene amounts of money on the resultant rise in the price of oil while at the same time putting the boot into the American economy. The oil that used to flow to America will instead go to China. What’s not to like if you consider America your enemy?

All those companies who rushed to sanction Russia like Mastercard, Facebook, Google, Twitter, the BBC etc he imposed sanctions on them in return. It’s really given him justification for permanently barring most of them access to Russia and its client states which I’m sure at some point they’ll want back. I wonder if he’ll tell them to piss off when the come back in a year or two with cap in hand? Another war won will make him more popular than ever. Our little Vladdi wins again! I think a lot of people are going to have to work very hard to get back into Russia.

So the answer to the above question is I think they won’t. A lot of western organisations and foreigners are going to have to do a lot of grovelling in the coming years before they ever get a sniff of any meaningful access to Russia for commercial or even diplomatic reasons. Russia, especially as it’s now been firmly driven into league with China, has no need of their services. They allowed what observers thought was a dangerous dependency on services provided by the West to develop, but that was illusory. That won’t be allowed to happen.

Just how the hell did American foreign policy descend into this laughable Keystone Cops mess inside one year?


Related articles by Pointman:

All articles about the Ukraine situation

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Click for a list of other articles.

13 Responses to “After the Ukraine, will Russia kiss and make up with the West?”
  1. Marzouk says:

    Always good. This time spot on.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. brennan says:

    You are much more articulate and thoughtful than I, but I think you have summed up well, what I felt, but did not have the words for when I posted after your last post entry.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Qsack says:

    Good analysis, but “The Saudis hate the Iranians on the traditional basis of one being Sunni and the other Shia Muslim and both in a fierce competition to be the leadership of the Arab world” is wrong.
    The Iranians are not Arabs and flinch at the thought. The issue is about dominance of the Islamic Middle East.


  4. nzpete54 says:

    The Russians are *never* going to forget the hate that has been poured on them by the Western powers. I feel utterly ashamed of what has happened. I watched a BBC report from “the front lines” on TV1 news this evening. It seemed totally divorced from reality.
    Your article echoes so much of what I’ve heard and read from others such as Dr Steve Turley, The Duran and The Conservative Treehouse, all of which I commend as worthy of following.


  5. nzpete54 says:

    “For almost two years, the United States government, using resources from the Dept of Justice and FBI, have been trying desperately to bury the truth of Joe and Hunter Biden’s corrupt and illegal activities that relate to the country of Ukraine and the business company Burisma. However, the reality of the information is so overwhelming even the DOJ cannot completely hide the problems.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Richard Ilfeld says:

    There is a risk to the other side as well of course, as there is symmetry in the circumstance. It’s is impossible to evaluate if there are reserves of what one might call “patriotic fervor” left in America, after the beating our institutions have taken for generations from the left. But let us stipulate that the world wields energy much as you propose, and in the US, a leader steps forth:

    We can attain energy independence and be a net exporter in two years; and be the marginal world producer in three, should we choose to use coal again domestically. We can feed ourselves, and much of the world, with our current infrastructure, if we immediately stop using 1/3 of our Soy crop and 1/5 of our corn crop as fuel.

    We have enough surplus goods to run out of very little while we ramp up production and make new alliances. While American manufacturing has shrunk it is not totally moribund and there is no capability where we lack knowledge. A country that has a Grainger in every town and an inventory of tens of thousands of abandoned but not useless properties can turn around faster that one might imagine. There are, right now, 50,000 Americans building airplanes in their garage, and probably a quarter of a million rebuilding old cars. There are at least half a million woodworkers. There are skills and tools of all sorts in a free country that don’t count as part of the “national stock”. Suggesting we wouldn’t have workers is an issue of motivation.

    China could choose not to sell to a US while it transitioned back to strength, at far greater cost to them than to us, while an ascendent US still doesn’t eliminate their goals and fosters the acquisition of a weakened Asian Russia as a client state.

    Missing are leadership and will — history tells us that sometimes a common enemy brings forth both.


  7. hunterson7 says:

    Excellent insight. The West is far too smug in it’s WEF echo chamber to think through the unintended consequences of what is in effect world war version of a woke cancel culture campaign.


  8. philjourdan says:

    I take it that last question is rhetorical? Based upon your early articles, you know how America has sunk so low so fast.

    But on the initial question. Your father was very wise! I was beaten as a kid, never excessively, but the occasional belt was applied – justly – to my buttocks. However, I never beat my children. Why? I have a temper and I knew it. So before I would administer punishment,, I forced myself to chill out. Once I did, I was in no mood for a spanking, and instead meted out punishment of restrictions. Was it better? Maybe, maybe not. But that was my philosophy to the spanking (not beating as that is abuse) question. My ex did spank on occasion. And sometimes when she was angry. But never abusively.


  9. xmfclick says:

    I would suggest people listen to an analyst called Peter Zeihan, who has been doing the rounds of the YouTubers punting his latest book. He seems to have a team of researchers and has put together what sounds to me like a pretty plausible picture of the short to medium term geopolitical landscape. In particular he has some interesting things to say about the Chinese military (their navy isn’t nearly as capable as they portray) and Russian oil exports (there isn’t the infrastructure to export elsewhere all the oil until recently taken by Europe, so output will have to drop; but when a Siberian well-head is shut down it is difficult or impossible to reopen it). I’m aware that I tend to agree with the last person who spoke to me, so I’d be interested to hear wise words from others who are more perceptive than I am.


  10. Richard Ilfeld says:

    Because An Iranian nuke is an existential threat to Israel, they are likely eliminate it before it can be triggered. They likely have the capability with conventional weapons, acquiring both bunker-busters and refueling during the Trump administration. I believe their intelligence to be up to speed. The Saudis will help fund this effort behind closed doors.

    The Chinese have long coveted the mineral wealth of the Eastern Soviet Union, and have a militant wing that consider it their by cultural birthright. They can build pipelines and railroads quickly, permitting and eminent domain not being an issue.

    So Russia has three potential customers for their fuel and minerals: The US/Europe, whom they have just screwed by using commodities as a weapon, the Chinese, who have screwed every customer they have ever done business with, eventually, and the world.

    The US has the resource and productive capability, and market clout, to say “screw you” to everbody, if we can elect an administration that is not totally feckless, corrupt, and in thrall to the climate cult. India + Viet Nam + Indonesia is in the process of replacing China as the US manufacturer of choice, vastly accelerated by COVID and Chinese bad behavior.

    The US can crash the world oil and gas markets by producing; our folks can make money at $50 a barrel, and $35 in places like the Permian. While Gas replaces coal in the first world, coal is the fuel of choice in the third and the US is very capable in coal exporting, as well.

    Russia doesn’t make anything anybody wants, China can consume all the fuel and minerals they’ll ship and would love the 10% kick to its ailing manufacturing sector. Iran’s Persian Empire ambitions serve no one and will be squashed; they are a gas station run by a bully.

    A fair amount of the world’s commerce for the next few year may be pushed out to brokers, and the new alignments take shape and trade is tentative….perhaps another generation of greek shipping magnates will get rich off this.

    We’ll end up in a different place as the old order can’t stand.


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