A New Low in the Annals of Russian Stupidity
We’ve chronicled some amazing instances of Russian stupidity here on this blog over the years, but this one may well take the cake: It was announced last week that Russia was “considering” the possiblity of cooperating with OPEC to reduce the world’s supply of crude oil and artificially jack up prices. Oil prices actually rose on the news, about 1% but still below a — for Russia — sickening $52/barrel. This notion is stupid on so many levels it’s difficult to know where to begin.
Firstly, one might have hoped that after four long months of truly brutal, vicious economic bad news caused in no small part because American demand for oil declined owing to a downturn in the U.S. economy, Russia would have learned the lesson about killing the golden goose. Russia’s “president” spent years trying to undermine the U.S. economy, and the net result was that the U.S. did in fact enter a recession, one that has now virtually obliterated the Russian stock market and sent the wider Russian economy into a horrify tailspin. So, what now? More of the same?
Secondly, is it really possible that anyone, much less anyone in the Kremlin, can believe that Russia can afford to reduce its revenues on crude oil exports? It seems not, since no sooner had this report appeared than the Moscow Times was reporting the Kremlin’s plans to raise oil output. And it’s obvious the Kremlin must do so, because the falling price per barrel means it must sell more or face massive shortfalls in budgetary revenue — to say nothing of revenue the oil companies need for investment and exploration.
Thirdly, has Russia forgotten already the way it marketed itself to the West as an alternative to OPEC, and hence an important player to be included at tables such as that of the G-8? How can Russia possibly expect any reaction in the West other than an escalation of the cold war if it allies itself with the fanatical Islamic regimes who control OPEC? Indeed, perhaps the Kremlin wants to antagonize the West, and thereby perhaps create concerns about oil supply that will drive up the price even further.
Reports also circulated last week that a “resurgent” Russia was “making waves” in South America. Apparently, Russia not only believes it can sustain a presence supporting Hugo Chavez despite Russia’s foundering economy and Chavez’s increasingly untenable government, but believes that it can induce the U.S. to back away from Georgia and Ukraine by doing, in some form of malignant quid pro quo. Have Russia’s rulers even considered the possiblity that the U.S. will simply escalate its own involvement in Russia’s neighboring regions, just as occurred in the Cold War?
It appears not. Indeed, it appears that Russia’s so-called “rulers” have not considered any of the consequences of their actions, just as the rulers of the USSR never did. We fully expect, therefore, Russia to destroy itself in the same manner.
Last week, it was also reported that the Russian Orthodox Church had sent a representative to Havana to decorate Communist madman Fidel Castro with the “Russian Orthodox Church Order Glory and Honour.” For a church to pin a medal on a Communist is something so bizarre that it could only come out of Russia, where the church has become nothing more than the mouthpiece of the Kremlin’s effort to create what can only be called Holy Russian Empire. It should suprise nobody, of course, since that same church has been worshipping at the alter of Vladimir Putin, a proud KGB spy, from the beginning of his rule.