We’re approaching peak stupidity over the Ukraine.

In the months the war in the Ukraine has ground on, one thing that has become alarmingly obvious to all is how weak and out of touch the leadership of the US is, but even more so that of the EU. The latter has continued to pursue relentlessly an anti-Russian sanctions policy that is obviously water off the Russian duck’s back even though those very same sanctions are visibly destroying their own once-prosperous economies.

We’re told that the purpose of sanctions is to engender regime change and that has certainly turned out to be the case but not in the way the masterminds who’re crafting them intended. Putin’s approval rating is still in the stratospheric 80% region while EU heads of state are dropping like ninepins and the upcoming mid-term elections in the US are set to be a harrowing experience for the Biden administration unless they can cheat their way out of electoral disaster like they did in 2020.

The western European political landscape has come to resemble something akin to a Mack Sennett comedy two reeler. It’s like the Keystone Cops with horse drawn wagons packed with cops careering around town and men being hurled off at every corner. Those who haven’t already been fired by national electorates are the walking dead plodding towards their own extinction at the next general election.

All they seem to do is come out with highfalutin speeches about fighting for freedom, democracy and sacrifice while the increasingly restive natives are either going on strike or turning out by the thousand to protest the cost of living rises and what’s starting to look like runaway inflation. The elites are simply not listening, increasingly out of touch and their so-called solutions to the problem are definitely in the Marie-Antoinette tradition.

A shining example of the political elite’s determined refusal to understand either the situation, realpolitik or the mood of their electorates was given by Michael Kretschmer who’s the prime minister of the German state of Saxony, which is a small place located south of Berlin. His solution, outlined in the tabloid Bild, was that the Nord Stream 1 & 2 pipelines should be repaired and Germany should resume buying natural gas from Russia, but only after the war is over. He even goes on to say the unsayable – sanctions against Russia have brought more harm than good to Germany.

My goodness, some common sense at last and coming from a normally sleepy little pimple on the bum of Berlin of all places. Who is this Michael Kretschmer I’ve never heard of and who could prove to be not only Germany’s saviour but the EU’s as well. I want his babies. Be still my foolish heart.

As I read on, my hopes for him were crushed underfoot like unnoticed spring bulbs in a lawn. He thinks in future Germany should get its natural gas from the US, various Arab countries or simply start drilling great big holes in the North Sea for it. Respectively and in other words, at a quadrupled US price especially designed to destroy the EU as a competitor, at not quite quadrupled prices from the hostile BRICS cartel who wouldn’t go out of their way to piss on a West block state going up in flames (ask Joe about how helpful they can be) or start a massive maritime project 50 years behind the thundering herd of the 70s when all the good drilling plots are long gone anyway.

The only hope I had left was what his ideas might be for ending the war and he outlined a delightfully simple if not outright childlike solution that could resolve the conflict overnight and deftly pluck Germany’s chestnuts (or something else) out of the raging flames of the de-industrialisation furnace it was heading towards. All Russia had to do was depose Putin, give back every square meter of territory gained and oh yes, pay to rebuild the Ukraine, then peace could be declared and the war would be over. Riffle through all the alternative realities that physics offers and there isn’t a single one where any of those conditions would be acceptable to Russia and its people.

Wake up sonny boy Kretschmer and get out of your bubble. This isn’t the 90s where a helpless Russia on its back was treated abominably. A golden opportunity was lost, every promise the West made to them was to be cynically broken and now they’re looking exclusively eastwards for their future in something like BRICS. In this new Cold War II, the coming together of Russia, China, India and the third world into the East block looks to be in the ascendant while the West block in a paroxysm of self-destruction is tearing itself to bits.

All wars come to an end around a peace table whatever the result. The intransigent conditions set by the West block to end the war are only meant to prolong it until Russia somehow drops from exhaustion but already the opposite is happening. They’re doing things like lowering central bank interest rates whereas the West block is already ascending the rickety stairs of too little, too late interest hikes to avoid economic implosion. The longer the war carries on, the deeper the hole the West is spiralling into gets.

The danger for the US and western Europe of reaching peak stupidity and not making some accommodation with the Russians about the Ukraine is that it will almost certainly be impossible to make a deal to get them out of the economic hole they’ll have dug themselves into. The later they get to that table, the more desperate they’ll be and the worse the deal will be. The apparently inexhaustible amounts of commodities Russia used to ship westwards are not inexhaustible and by that stage Russia will already have found new markets for those commodities. It’s already happening.

Sino-Russian trade is already heading for a projected target of 200 USD billion this year, India and the rest of the BRICS combined are probably not far behind in terms of percentage increase. For Russia, that’s all trade of goods into new markets that used to flow westwards. It’s an emerging market with a population of about 3 billion people. Even if enough regime change in the West block finally permits some realistic peace talks and after some grovelling apologies about imposing sanctions, Russia won’t suddenly be able to double production of natural gas, oil, wheat, fertiliser and the mountains of other commodities we used to get cheaply from them. That ship will have sailed.

By then, the only way we’re realistically going to get out of the hole is to start doing a whole lot more digging, drilling and planting for ourselves, and that’s going to take years. It’s that or get used to living in a world with a lot less of most things.


Related articles by Pointman:

Remind me again, which country’s economy was sanctions going to devastate?

The Ukraine war – the military realities.


All articles about the Ukraine situation

Click for a list of other articles.

3 Responses to “We’re approaching peak stupidity over the Ukraine.”
  1. GlenM says:

    This will all take time but once again a grand failure of US foreign policy that’s subsumed by a anti Russian ideology that pervades influential elements in the West. I can’t be certain what impacts sanctions are having on Russia, but friends in Rostov ( lower Don) say life is good, if somewhat uncertain.


  2. Richard Ilfeld says:

    A close view informs us of the stupidity and cupidity of our own “leaders”. (I’m not sure what the correct word should be for Mr. Biden). History tells us these attributes are probably well spread across the world’s leaders. When I think ‘Sino-Soviet’ alliance is not the next word that comes to mind. A Paranoid Russia looking at the ethnicity of many of its eastern citizens may grow very quickly wary of the usual Chinese deal-making. India, on the other hand, is well poised to replace China to large degree as a manufacturer for much of the US and European markets. The US remains well poised to dominate the world’s energy production once the world decides dispatchable energy is essential to life as we know it; we merely have to test how much penury and mortality in winters the west can stand before the green lemming cult has to retreat and find something else to scare us with. A second failure by our military should convince folks that the Dems/neocons aren’t good at managing
    these wars and we are better at economic warfare and weapons defence: the Reagan mix. It’s time for the Dirty Harry model of governance again; I want a president who can realistically say “GO ahead, make My Day”, and I think a majority are coming around.


  3. Doonhamer says:

    Peak stupidity? I fear you are overly optimistic. Rather like Peak Oil, the event is always receding into the future.
    Einstein ‘s comment regarding the extent of both the universe and human stupidity definitely applies.


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