The genius of Putin, and why Brexit is the best way to deal with him

Moscow Dynamo 4 DC United 0

I do not – and would never – make the case for admiring Vladimir Putin, because he’s at best a global-sized ego on legs. But it is oddly satisfying to watch an experienced player at work, tormenting a defence that knows nothing beyond tedious process and man to man marking.

His first goal within minutes of the start of Ukraine destabilisation threw the EU into confusion thereafter, and his next strike – straight through to Sebastopol and the ‘democratic’ annexation of Crimea – left the incumbent fascists and their CIA insurgents for dead. His third – to launch an all-out attack on US-created anarchy in Syria – was probably the individual goal of the season. But his latest – to backheel into the net and then withdraw gracefully – was sublime.

Time to cruise, save his energy, and knock the ball about in a satisfyingly humiliating manner. “C’mon,” he seems to say, “this is too easy fellas….gimme a game”.

The only problem is that, in this very one-sided match, there isn’t a credible referee. Everyone is aligned and tainted one way or another, and the UN is all over the place. This is particularly concerning because Putin is a star player in the old mould of Diego Maradonna: everyone would like to sign him, but everyone knows he cheats.

You may not realise this, but what I’m doing here is making another argument not just for Brexit – but for Brexit with the sincere hope that the action collapses the EU. I think it will (in the unlikely  event it is allowed to happen) and that is precisely what Europe now needs: to dismantle the single currency, dump federalism, but keep all the economic advantages of being an interdependent free trade bloc.

The sensible view to take of the Vote Leave campaign is to think of Britain as a reforming radical, forcing the EU to take the distasteful medicine it so badly needs. The removal of power from the Ivory Towers of Babel in Brussels and Frankfurt would be the first step in a process brilliantly summed up by Kate Hoey: “This is really about the People taking power back from the Establishment”.

The problem geopolitical diplomacy faces in the 21st Century is there are no honest brokers to command respect any more, because the world is rapidly coalescing into blocs.

The Syrian mess in, say, De Gaulle’s time would’ve been a classic for dear old Charlie Grandnez to walk serenely onto the stage and get a lasting deal done. France is good at this stuff: but France is in NATO’s pocket these days… and President Zéro knows he must do as he is bidden by the Black Dude. This is a lost opportunity for genuine peace, because De Gaulle would’ve thought “I don’t want the Yanks to corner the market in oil”, and “I don’t want a bunch of Jihadist nutters screwing up my trade with the old colonies”.

Unless something puts the US back in its box, this sort of anti-continental drift process will become increasingly inflexible and cemented firmly in place. Russo-Chinese strategy is, very sensibly, to create a counterbalance to American financial transmission and economic colonialism. One of them – perhaps more likely China – is going to align the emerging markets behind itself as the EM Daddy of them all. It is also moving swiftly towards (and investing heavily in) a black African presence. This will leave Russia with but one option: to create unaligned buffer States against the West, and focus on at last one big EU member as a trading friend. The obvious choice is Germany.

If and when we thus wind up with the US, Russian, and Chinese trading blocs, to have an incompetent, expansionist and Washington-controlled EU as the fourth one is not going to create a stool to sit on: more likely, it will create the sort of stool that hits fans and flings smelly stuff in all directions.

The World needs honest brokers. When it came to the MH17 false flag, Australia tried to do exactly that job….but they’ve been forced by the  EUNATONS to shut up about where the guilt lies. As I suggest, with single power-source hegemony (which we have now) such brokers cannot do their job. In the medium term, what we need is powerful unaligned voices on the diplomatic stage and geopolitical counterbalance to allow them to be heard.

In the long term, as most of you know already, I am for vibrant entrepreneurial communitarian local democracy: the model seems to me far easier to manage, much more nimble, more likely to give citizens back their responsibilities, and best of all a way of destroying national/international disconnected bubble politics forever.

It isn’t going to happen in my lifetime, and it isn’t going to come without hardship, struggle, violence and a great deal of individual growing up. These things never do.

But it is the only chance our species has to survive.

Last night at The Slog: Yet more things going on behind your back

33 thoughts on “The genius of Putin, and why Brexit is the best way to deal with him

  1. Ah, but to put the US back in it’s box is going to something more grand than the people have at their disposal. All the investment the US has poured into its military has paid handsome dividends for it. They are, for all intents and purpose, in charge, hence all the vassal states do as they are bid without question because, as they old saying goes: “You are either with us, or against us”. And no one has the will, the might, or the balls to go up against them. Job done.
    I believe both China and Russia know there is no winning a nuclear war and no point in entering into one but, the US, well, they believe otherwise…

    Liked by 3 people

  2. A Brilliant Article, and in the ‘real’ world innocent people suffer and die continually under the umbrella of the open prisons of societies around Europe and the world, whilst egocentric leaders take not an iota of care of notice of the concerns of citizens struggling to survive with low wage and austerity, what a huge and seriously evil joke is the EU, and we need to leave as soon as possible, but once we leave, we then need to find something like finding a needle in a haystack honest politicians with integrity, there are some, but they do not usually get allowed into the inner sanctum, that would be to risky as the owners of governments shady filthy rich people and global business who pull the strings of the governments, would not like that.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. KFC once again such a pessimistic view,i don’t think the blocs John writes about are anywhere near in the peril Britain stood at,at the beginning of second world war,they have far more natural resources and more of them,they have factories that can be quickly converted,bigger populations even the states would be in peril of supporting such a large force for any length of time,they would have to rebuild factories,ship in natural resources from the Americas ,i do believe the US would use the nuclear option but more out of weakness than a position of strength
    Putin is stretching the US weakening it every time and China is building all the time(still over 6% growth) economically unsustainable militarily a distinct advantage it can purchase through Gold not funny money,the problem with funny money is you can enforce a value on it,until the chips are down then it’s worthless,remember supply lines can be cut and it is still easier to repair roads in Siberia than it is in central America,railroads the same,ships are bigger but easier targets and create greater shortages because while it is efficient to profit from them it is not efficient in defending yourself, not supporting other nations to grow will work against the US not for them both in provisions and good will
    obviously no one knows how the chaos of war will pan out but unless the wars are resolved quickly i fear the US neoliberal model may have left like the roman empire to self concentrated to win even if theoretically one could be won

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  4. Putin and the Russian play is the safety valve that this planet desperately needs.
    We should be grateful for this display of passive finesse in the face of coarse geopolitical reasoning.
    I regard the latest moves in Syria to be a head-fake, not a conclusion, that will eventually lead to the “self-colour revolutioning” of the bad players if they continue to push their agendas.
    If Syria falls, so does the rest of the World. There you go.
    There is no time for A vs B, when the global reset occurs.
    Lets all see how the rest of the World chooses to fill the Syrian ceasefire environment.

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  5. Russia had a very small force in Syria,namely a section its Air Force. This has been used to extraordinary effect to pound the supply routes and control centres of ISIS, with up to 90 sorties /day.
    Its work is done and any mopping up can be continued by the Syrian Arab Air force, whose planes have been upgraded with target finding Russian technology. The previous weakness of low flying ,made them a target for the Western supplied anti-aircraft Manpads.
    Russia had few ground troops in Syria ,mainly security forces around Latakia airport and training advisors and tacticians for the Russian supplied equipment.
    Remaining to continue the ground war are the Iranians and Hezbollah and of course the Syrian Arab Army.
    The Russians have already proved that they can hit targets within 10 metres with ship launched missiles from the Caspian and Meditteranean seas.
    Their Electro Magnetic pulse equipment has also been proved to disable the targeting systems of US Navy ships.
    Putin holds the high cards in this poker game and I am sure some backroom deal has been negotiated as a face saving exercise for the US, its NATO allies and Gulf monarchies.
    No matter, the Washington neo-cons will never admit defeat until they have subjugated Russia and the planet. This will never be allowed,even unto nuclear war.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Smart move. Forcing the binary Win, Loose, Ideological stance, to consider a third option… Lets just hope they can gain enough lucidity to get the concept of the extra room the new dimension adds. I suspect the “Might is Right” of authoritarianism, is too deeply ingrained.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ‘…he’s at best a global-sized ego on legs… ‘
    The west’s lack of action in Syria ( MP’s Westminster Vote ) allowed the little man to consolidate on his Ukraine adventures.
    He knows where the red lines are, and he knows when to halt as a posturing fleabite to a Great British historical sense of defensive action, in or out of the eu circus. Russia’s current strength is in missile technology which would guarantee the end of the world as we know it , thereby confining his participation in any future hostilities to the very end of the end game.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. ..And on the subject of Brexit or in this case Flexcit I wish Richard North the best of luck with the launch tomorrow in a bid to become lead leave campaigner which in Flexcit consists of 6 stages the last of which includes implementation of the Harrogate Agenda. This moreover matches your desire for ‘ … vibrant entrepreneurial communitarian local democracy’ for UK bringing power back to the people and to avoid the decision to place us under supranational control in the future without the peoples consent. It’s is also why the establishment are scared sh@tlees and seek to ignore it.
    http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=85976#disqus_thread

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  9. Like most things, localism can go either way too. Local Government can be completely corrupt just as national government can be. Councillors accept brown envelopes, other junkets or part-time posts in other establishments as reward for pushing dodgy proposals through. Small-minded people think only about themselves, not the greater needs of the country they live in (Londoners and the SE of Englanders are the most egocentric group of people I’ve met the world over, and that’s really saying something). Local councillors engaged in hacking computers of citizenry because they can, not because it’s right. They do it, trust me on that one…..

    The vast majority of people in Britain care about one thing and one thing alone: the value of their house. If expanding Heathrow means the value of their house goes down, they’re against it. Damn whether the UK needs greater airport capacity or not, a hub airport or not. They’re against it. My view is simple: if you don’t want a proper airport in the UK, you make the sacrifice by not using it at all. Amazing how many fulminating protestors will start fulminating about their ‘lack of human rights’ if you tell them to come through on the practicalities of their principles.

    One of the more amusing things I’ve always felt as a Londoner who lived in Manchester for 8 years is quite how silly the design of the transport infrastructure was in Manchester. Manchester is half-way up Britain, so it’s logical that it’s transportation system should reflect that by being a through-station north-south and east-west. You look at Manchester Victoria, it’s just about that. You look at Manchester Piccadilly, well, there’s a diddly little way through from south to North, but basically Piccadilly points firmly south. Trains to Edinburgh and Glasgow are diddy trains, not the Inter-Cities going to Londres, Brum and even Penzance. The Northern Powerhouse talks about the old way: East-West and down to London. There’s nothing novel about Manchester-Scotland in there. Amazing: everyone says HS2 will see London Consultancies destroy northern business and Londoners commuting to a day’s work in Manchester. I’ve never worked that one out unless you are totally corrupt. London office costs are double or more that of Manchester, THEN you add on the cost of the commute. Must be a special project indeed that you have to pay triple the costs of a good local firm to get an adequate solution to. Never saw that in my time consulting in Manchester. Not once. It’s all due to these things being controlled by London and not by Manchester and the North. Many in the North said: ‘start HSR from the North and only reach London at the end’. Why? Because they knew that if you wanted to create a ‘Northern Powerhouse’ you needed to link up the Northern cities first, not as some afterthought. Make them all stand on their own two feet: don’t give London an erect nipple for the Northern babies to suck on even more voraciously.

    Then again, what I also saw in Northern politics was that it was all a bun-fight for who should rule: Manchester wanted to rule, so did York, so did Newcastle. They wanted to rule in their own interests. No honest brokers there either.

    Amazing all the talk about ‘costs’ of building mega-tunnels, either for HS3 or for a road corridor from Manchester to Sheffield. How the heck can Switzerland build one from Zurich to Milan if its so outrageously expensive, eh? Do they have some kind of bankruptcy wish amongst the gnomes of UBS et al? Course they don’t. Is that tunnel shorter than the ones proposed in Britain? No. When’s it opening? 2016. So it’s hardly futuristic if the Swiss and Italians have dug a gigantic hole under the Alps and will have completed it whilst we’re still all visiting Mystic Megs for ‘revolutionary ideas’…..it’s the usual british corruption – come up with big ‘cost stories’ so you can pad the costs and filch out a few billion from the deluded taxpayers. The perils of commissioning British and all that…….

    You’ll note that Crossrail II is going through on the nod. About time that the good ol’ folks of the Norf bandied together to organise kiboshing campaigns for every single London project. That’s what London and the SE does to ensure ALL not most of the infrastructure spending happens in the capital. It needs to be done in very, very nasty ways. They don’t do nice in London. Outside their comfort zone.

    These are the reasons those in the regions have attachments to the EU: they need someone to strong-arm London to behave. Far easier in my opinion for the North and Scotland to secede. They won’t be free of London otherwise.

    I don’t like the EU one little bit, but I’ve seen how London behaves too and it’s so far from fair, equitable and honourable as to be farcical.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. rtj: We drive through these megatunnels all the time with the caravan – especially the Bregenz one when going west to France and Spain. Used to do the Austrian ones a lot when we did Croatia. They just get on out here and build them, no faffing about.

    When they built the A55 Expressway through my village Llanfairfechan they kicked us out of our home in the end for no reason as they cocked up the plans – Sofa King British.

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  11. i have read a number of views on the whats and whys Putin has ‘pulled’ his forces but none that mention the effect of fatigue on man and machine. This force has been working hard around the clock for some 5-6 months, the number of sorties is very high. The working environment of Syria (lots of airbourne sand) is not ideal for jet engines, it erodes critical components and causes havoc. Other than the single loss (of an older airframe type) at the Turks hands I am not aware of any other aircraft losses. If that is so then this is a remarkable performance in the theatre of war and the reputation that Russia suffered from previously of poor reliability is vanquished. Not only can these aircraft deliver, they keep on at it. A succesful military airframe must be able to deliver and do so time and time again. Customers are lining up to buy these aircraft, why risk their reputation? Its a good time to bring airframe and crew back home for some R&R and a lot of heavy maintenance to keep them in station.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. @kfc1404

    But China and Russia do make interesting bedfellows, because if either one leaves the bed they are both isolated. The US has driven them together that if not lovers they soon will be.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. So, John, you support Brexit so that the EU can be broken up. Let us examine such a scenario. The economic upheaval of the break-up of the euro is unknown. It can be managed but how and to what extend the forecast is from bleak to dire. A new recession or a real depression isn’t going to help the socialists and the center right parties in Europe. Be prepared to see the rise of new faces wrapped in flags and past glories.
    But let us say that we survive, (we refers to European citizens and particularly pensioners and unemployed) the economics of the finally obsolete euro. What about the geopolitical repercussions? You seem to envision trading blocks and you place Germany together with Russia. Does this mean that Germany and Russia will cozy up with each other? This is a possibility but a remote one. How about France? Will it join the USA and Britain and Italy? Geopolitically France will join the USA.
    Where does this leave Britain? In an alliance with USA France and perhaps Italy and Spain. What about NATO. If it dissolves or few members pull out this will undermine the whole of western security structure with European states getting into the game of rearmament.
    Yes, Brussels is rigid and more than ridiculous for certain areas of policy-making. But to keep repeating that Britain or any other member state will be free to control its destiny away from the shackles of the Commission is also too ridiculous to be seriously debated.
    The first reason is that none is free to decide its destiny anymore. Simply put some have a higher degree of freedom than others but this doesn’t mean that they are free. The one who is better positioned in the game of freedom is of cause the USA. The dollar and the military might behind it are the custodians of this freedom. However, the American elections are purporting to some deep changes over there. It seems that they are getting sick and tired playing this endless game of poking their nose in every dirty hole in the world. Both Trump and Sanders have something to say which wasn’t articulated up to now.
    The second reason is that in a globalized world Britain is a small state and a small potato compared with the remaining EU, USA, China, Russia India, Brazil, Indonesia and others.
    Britain and the EU are inexorably linked to each other. If the British voters say no, Europe with most probably stay on course with the full support of Merkel. Britain will try to negotiate tis exit with destabilizing effects for the whole of Europe. This will distance Britain from European mainstream politics and intensify negative perceptions about a reclusive and isolationist Britain.
    On the other hand Brexit or no Brexit the EU may disintegrate due to the refugee invasion and the coming economic debacle of Greece after The Chancellor threw Samaras under the bus and promoted Tsipras as the arbiter of the new delusional Left in Europe. If you advocate Brexit because of a delusional Merkel you maybe right but the consequences are too dangerous for our health and sound mind. Let’s hope that she leaves soon and a new pragmatic German leader will keep Germany on the right track. If this isn’t the case the break-up of Europe is inevitable.
    Federalism in slow motion and a well-organized fiscal consolidation plan may still save Europe and its freedom to play a role in the world. Otherwise the tribes from the desert, our neighbors and friends the Turks and the Saudis will call the shots through the imams of Birmingham. Brussels, Berlin, Marseilles, Athens, and Andalusia.

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  14. Putin has exercised his airborne, naval and logistical teams in a practical fashion, more cheaply than he could on home soil in imaginary situation. Now the 70’s and 80’s outdated airborne ordnance has been used up. Most importantly for Putin, he has gained authority at home in a foreign skirmish where he had no opposition, no mission plan, more a show of barechested dolphin riding to impress people unknown. The west has allowed him to burn his ideas out without provoking him into a real fight , with no prizes in this case. Result, Russia has achieved nothing other than irritate the US and Nato, who will remember this action and add it to any growing list of consequences that are always under review or in the pipeline.

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  15. O/T the bourserkers (LSE/DB) have decided to circle the wagons at the same time as circling the plughole. Later today Chancer The Most Reverend George Arsebone will perform the Sermon on the Mint during which he will miraculously refer to the vast quantities of stale loaves and rotting fish specially prepared for our delectation. Things are not looking good for the new religion.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Putting the US genie back in its box is childs play………………………….

    It is not rocket science.

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  17. @Munchkins

    “Result, Russia has achieved nothing other than irritate the US and Nato, who will remember this action and add it to any growing list of consequences that are always under review or in the pipeline.”

    I respectfully disagree. F.U.K.U.S./Israel/Turkey/Gulf tyrannies had invested considerable treasure and effort attempting to unseat Assad. Indeed it seems that U.S. ‘diplomats’ expected to have Damascus under Jihadi control by October. The unexpected and unprecedented (but crucially legal under international law) intervention by Russian forces immediately pushed the Wahabbists onto the back foot and allowed the Syrian army and its allies to regain the initiative.

    I’m sure someone steeped in U.S. propaganda would love to write off the whole affair as meaningless, but the reality is very different. To couple such disparaging remarks with a barely concealed threat about future actions by the true axis of evil is revealing. Following the anti-ballistic missiles in Poland, the invasion of South Ossetia, the expansion of NATO eastwards and the Ukrainian coup/warcrimes, I have no doubt that intelligent Russians now have no illusions about the way the Neocon State Department views their country and people. Over 30 years of abuse, the West and principally the U.S. have squandered all the abundant goodwill that was naively profferred by the Russian people following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Canexpat

    Thanks, that article was one in many that i have read. I wouldn’t dispute its core message but I think it is important to look for the more mundane and simpler reasons than constantly speculate on big headline grabbing items. In complex situations we tend to look for complex reasons, where in reality they are formed from a larger number of smaller interconnected reasons. It is not without reason that the latest images featured Russia’s latest and greatest weapon systems, (i didnt see any of the 1960s aircraft that were used) departing from Syria (unchallenged) and arriving safely home. Im guessing that the new sales for these weapon systems will pay (in monetary terms) for the time spent in Syria, why risk that?

    Time for the crew to rest and bask in glory, time for aircraft repair. Soon both crew and aircraft will be back to the same condition they were in when they departed Russia last year, but with one very big difference and that is in the confidence of the aircrews and support crews in the reliability of their machines and the Generals that guide them. That message im sure will be clearly understood by their US counterparts, the question is will Turkey understand?

    When you are weak you look for strength, in my opinion we have done nothing but bolster Russia’s weakness and given it reason to see strength in its new found confidence.

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  19. Whether you like the man – Putin, that is – or loathe him, at least he is rational and you can get an answer from him. At least with him you can know your enemy.

    It’s more than you can expect of the gung-toting psychopaths in Washington.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. “I do not – and would never – make the case for admiring Vladimir Putin, because he’s at best a global-sized ego on legs.” As they say, takes one to know one.

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  21. ” China is building all the time(still over 6% growth) …”

    Really? Exports down 25% YoY, imports minus 18%? A report from the major US retailer yesterday that the internal consumer market in China is ‘carnage’ God knows how many trillions of debt has been built up whilst the communist party decided it would be a great idea to simply concrete the country over whether or not anyone wanted or could actually afford to live in the ‘ghost’ towns.

    Anyone can ‘buy’ growth via gross misallocation of capital. But, as one sage put it, you can avoid reality but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.

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  22. What a load of bollocks in regard to Australia’s role in MH17. Honest broker my arse! They were at the forefront in castigating the russians for this event and following, poodle like, their US masters without a skerrick of bona-fide evidence. They have continued in the cover-up of this disgusting crime to this very day as western powers continue trying to brush it under the carpet. Shame on you for promoting this shite.

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