It’s a real indication of just how wretched a failure the Putin regime is that even the softest left-wing appeasers aren’t fooled the KGB clan any longer. Earlier in the week we showed that John Kerry is taking the lead in standing up to Russia in Georgia, and viewing two European policy initiatives towards Russia last week, all we can do is stand up, cheer and shout “BRAVO!”
First, ignoring Putin’s crude threats and hysterical fits of anger as if he were nothing more than a yapping puppy, NATO pushed forward to hold joint military operations with Georgia, an amazing display of solidarity that put Russian aggression firmly in its place. The Kremlin was left to gape slack-jawed as a massive NATO military force poured into Georgia, displaying for all to see technology and standards of living for soliders about which the Russian army cannot even dare to dream.
Then, again ignoring Russian fury, the EU implemented a massive $800-million program to wean Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine away from Russian influence, preparing them to join the EU and of course, ultimately, NATO. Making Russia’s humiliation complete, the program was announced by the new president of the EU, who hails from Russia-loathing Czechoslovakia.
What does Russia have to respond with? Only empty threats and blind neo-Soviet hatred.
Even the benighted people of Russia ought to be able to recognize how Putin has polarized the entire planet against Russia, has made real the eternal Russian fantasy about being surrounded. Nations like Ukraine and Georgia who ought to be Russia’s closest friends have been turned into enemies. Enemies like the United States and the NATO countries have been galvanized into a whole new level of alterness and response. Russia is left with a ragtag group of rogue countries from Venezulea to Syria to North Korea to call its “friends,” not one of which can do anything to advantage Russia in the slightest respect.
It would be one thing if Putin had butchered Russian foriegn policy this badly but salvaged the economy. Yet the opposite has occurred. He has destroyed the economy just as badly, and Russia now faces double-digit unemployment and inflation while its currency, reserves and stock market have all plummeted dramatically in value. The stock market in particular has exposed Russia as a nation whose economic fortunes are entirely dependent on luck, specifically the rising and falling of crude oil prices.
And all of this, sadly, was not only predictable but predicted. Any sensible person would have known long before Putin took power that the KGB could not be expected to produce any other result for the country. Russians, in fact, had seen that nefarious, malignant organization destroy their country once, and yet they foolishly handed power back.
Woe is Russia.