Mainstream discussion of Russia practically parodies itself. I’ve never been one to avoid low-hanging fruit though, so here you are. We’ve reached new levels in the United States. Previously more peace oriented Democrats are now terribly worried about the Vlad menace. So are any Republicans that have the self-respect necessary to remember the anti-Russia hawkishness their party represented before it got Trumped.
Basically, there’s not a lot of sanity out there.
One article in particular convinced me to make this video. “Putin’s Long War”, published in Politico, was one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever read. Russia’s desperate scrambling has been recast as strategic genius. It’s reckless use of a ramshackle military instrument is portrayed as Bismarck level world-shaping. I think my video provides a more authentic picture. Many thanks to the Economist for visuals for the beginning. I lifted it quite “transformatively” from one of their more memorable recent covers.
This video nicely fits into a “World War 3” series concept I’ve been developing. This may seem like an odd choice for a channel that’s lately announced that it wants to be more positive. In fact I’m pretty optimistic about World War III. It’s something that will almost certainly happen. What I’m optimistic about is the time frame. It could happen in 50 years, or it could happen in 500 years. I hope to use the series here to lay out how we can push that date further into the future. This may surprise some of you, but there is a sizable on-line subculture that thinks World War III is just around the corner. If this series can reach some of them and get them to chill the F out, that’d be nice. Here’s the first installment of the series in case you missed it.
Video Transcript after the jump…
There is a specter haunting Europe. The Russian Bear has awoken and presents a new threat to peace and security. In almost three years of Machiavellian politics and non-linear warfare, Russia has taken over very little of a country that’s basically half Russian? Never Mind, in the Baltics, Russia’s overbearing power has succeeded in dramatically accelerating NATO’s militarization of the Russian border. Ummmm. Let’s move on to Syria. In five years of brutal fighting, unleashing the savage power of World War II era bombing, Russia has successfully defended a little less than half of the territory of one their only foreign allies. Against a bunch of yahoos who spend more time fighting each other than they do fighting Assad.
Are you beginning to see the problem with the narrative here? No matter where you look you’ll find a US journalist or a government official desperately trying to convince us that Russia is a real threat to our security. Weirdly this is a collaborative effort between the Western Media and the Russian government itself. In May of 2016, when Russia threw an odd victory concert in the ruins of Palmyra, the BBC and company were all there in force to cover it. When the Syrian and Russian militaries were thrown out of Palmyra seven months later, by a bunch of Video-gamers with Toyota mounted machine guns, it was barely mentioned.
In the aftermath of the 2016 election, this commentary has reached a fever pitch. Democratic voters, who used to be slightly less enthusiastic war mongers, have latched on to Russia as one of many excuses for their loss. DEMOCRATIC POLITICIANS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN ENTHUSIASTIC WAR MONGERS. The story seems to be that Russia unleashed the awesome power of teenagers with laptops and a state-run TV channel to corrupt our democracy or something. If you look at these stories with anything like critical thinking, it’s pretty clear that they are blown out of proportion. As I’ve pointed out elsewhere, Russian maneuvering has neatly highlighted the arrogance and foolishness of a bunch of US policies. It’s not an indication of Russian strength, or the new cold war that the US military industrial complex so desperately wants.
In fact, If you look a little more closely at how Russia is actually doing the picture is quite different. The country is a pale shadow of what it was in 1989. Russia is barely keeping it together. Consider some events from the last month. On December 19th, Andrey G. Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey was murdered during a speech he was giving in Ankara. What kind of superpower fails to keep its representatives safe? I suppose there’s not much you can do to stop a lone gunman, but the fact that the killer was able to make a speech before he was stopped is just embarrassing. Turkey is next to Syria, and the Russians are widely loathed, that ambassador should have had more security.
This pattern of haplessness turned even more tragic on Christmas day. A Russian military choir was among the 92 people killed when a Russian military plane disintegrated shortly after take-off from Russia. If it had made it to Syrian airspace, there at least would have been some propaganda value there. Terrorists could have been blamed. Instead it’s just another illustration of Russian incompetence. The power of Russia is nothing to be feared. What we should be afraid of is Russian weakness. The fact that everybody in Washington, DC is now gearing up to fight a new cold war is a real problem. If we go too far, we risk turning Russia into a failed state. A failed state with nuclear weapons. That is a vastly more likely doomsday scenario than a real war between Russia and the United States. If World War III ever happens Russia is not going to be the enemy. Like France 75 years ago, It’s far more likely to be a battleground.
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