Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Putin is not hard to understand, but certainly Western elites do not understand him.  It has been a long time since our oligarchs met anyone they could not simply buy for cash.  

But Putin is not playing.  He is looking ahead at the hard and uncertain task of maintaining a functioning country.  Everything he does relates to that goal.  

He knows well that the West is a declining empire specializing in short-term crazy gambles.  His main challenge, which he recognizes, is not to get sucked in.  He seems cautious because he is cautious.  

But our elites mistake caution for someone about to back down.  Putin is not about to back down on those things that matter.  He will certainly not fire on NATO troops if there is another way.  But if there is no other way?  Our elites will be shitting bricks as they watch their hare-brained, off-the-top-of-the-head, best-case policies go awry.  Then it will be NATO--not the Russians--trying to decide if they really and truly want to go nuclear.  

Think back to Syria.  What put paid to NATO's beloved no-fly zone?  Probably that Russia was offering the Syrians the real-time info to shoot NATO planes out of the sky, as well as sink the American cruise-missile ships.  

The good news was that the US Air Force was not ready to take major casualties.  They still aren't.  The rush to war is being driven by the politicians--who are clueless and desperate--not the military, who have just had a decade of bitter experience with best-case-scenerios dissolving in the face of hard reality.  


The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Wed Apr 2nd, 2014 at 10:26:37 PM EST
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