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Spengler

Putin Isn’t a Genius — We Are Complete Idiots

April 17th, 2014 - 9:34 pm

Vladimir Putin happily allowed the Kiev authorities to shoot a few pro-Russian demonstrators while keeping his military forces on ice across the border. I predicted (and am sticking to my story) that Russia will not seize more territory in Eastern Ukraine–not for the time being, in any case. Russia will stand back and watch Ukraine implode, the way Egypt did during the two years following the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak. Before the Maidan coup, Putin was willing to sit on $15 billion in arrears to Gazprom and put up $18 billion in new money. Now he wants $35 billion in back gas bills, on top of Ukraine’s $15 billion a year current account deficit. The IMF wants massive cuts in subsidies, which will make the Kiev government an object of hatred without putting  a dent into the problem. Western taxpayers won’t cough up $50 billion for Ukraine, not even a small fraction of it.

Yankee Doodle went to Maidan, stuck a feather in his hat and called it democracy. Our foreign policy ideologues are like UFO cultists who are so convinced that space aliens are invading the earth that they see moon men in every glare of swamp gas. In this case, it isn’t moon men, but aspiring republicans. First Tahrir Square, then Maidan, were glorious proof of the Manifest Destiny of Western democracy.

A Google search with the terms “Putin” and “genius” yields over 10 million hits. If I hear another pundit’s panegyric to Putin’s great intellect, I’ll lose my lunch. Putin is not that smart; the trouble is that we are complete idiots. When Ukraine imploded, our leaders–from Victoria Nuland at the State Department to the neo-conservatives–rather assumed that we would reverse Ukraine’s polarity to the West, and humiliate Russia with the loss of Crimea. Putin called our bluff, and we had no viable military options.

Putin doesn’t need to send the Red Army into Ukraine. Every Ukrainian officer above the rank of major came up through the ranks in the Red Army. Ukrainian commanders won’t fight the Russians. They are the Russians. Yesterday we watched Ukrainian paratroopers turn their armored vehicles over to Russian separatists. Maybe John McCain can send them more weapons to hand over to Moscow.

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Top Rated Comments   
I don't know if Putin is a genius but I know the US does have a dumb electorate. We have become a nation of dunces and we have elected our dunce in chief ... TWICE. Anyone looks bright compared to that!
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Putin Isn’t a Genius — We Are Complete Idiots"

That's it!

Hitler wasn't a genius either.

I dislike when Time Life or some company wants to sell WW2 books or films calls Hitler an "evil genius". He certainly was evil, but he was no genius.

For one his speaking ability was in large part learned. He learned debating people when he was a struggling artist. The Germany Army saw to it that he received training in rhetoric in 1919. In the 1930s Hitler and his associates sought out psychologist and other experts in order that Hitler be a more effective speech maker. There are those that crack up every time they see Hitler pounding on a lectern. What if a psychologist told him told it was effective and it was. What if the same or another psychologists told him that it was no longer effective due to focus groups or research and Hitler stopped. Is Hitler some Rasputin or someone who was taught and learned rhetoric and used what was effective for that particular era?

Hitler was successful in part on the international scene because he built alliances beyond Japan and Italy and temporarily with the USSR. He built a slew of alliances with Eastern European countries and these counted in the calculus of war. Without them Hitler might never have gone to war. Hitler also knew which world leaders he could push around. That is in part a reason for his great initial success.

Being weak has a price. It had a price in the 1930s and it will have one now.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
If part of your ideological belief is based on the idea that your side and its leaders are "The Best and the Brightest" -- at least within the domestic political world you truly care about -- it's easy to see how Vladamir Putin becomes a genius.

Those making the claims for the most part are the same ones who spent the Bush years (and before that, the Reagan years) attacking the idea of a US. foreign policy based on strong military deterrence. So when your own "Smart Diplomacy" is put into practice under Barack Obama and comes up a tad short of its expected goals, you have two options -- admit you aren't the smartest guys and gals in the room domestically and that your political opponents inside American may have been smarter about the country's foreign policy positions, or continue to believe you are the smartest guys and gals in this room, but the guy over the Russian room is a super-genius that no one could be expected to account for.

It's simply the normal liberal rationale for their failures -- it's never the policies were bad, it's always that the problems turned out to be so systemic and/or intractable that no one could be expected to solve them. To think otherwise is to admit to yourself that you don't have the answers and someone else might, including someone you've derided as your intellectual inferior.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
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Here is an excellent article discussing the fascist and deeply antisemitic movement that Putin and Alexander Dugin are building in Ukraine, Russia, and elsewhere. Everyone should read it, particularly Spengler.
http://anton-shekhovtsov.blogspot.com/2014/04/russian-and-pro-russian-right-wing.html

26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
A simple question, no doubt foolish, but Spengler writes: "Vladamir Putin HAPPILY ALLOWS the Kiev authorities to shoot a few pro-Russian demonstrators ..." I checked the NYT article to which Spengler refers and could find no mention, let alone the slightest evidence revealing the mental state of Putin (i.e., being "happy") and that Putin ever made an overt act of communication of permission to the Kiev authorities (or to anyone else for that matter) that "allows" them to shoot pro-Russian protesters. Could Spengler please supply the information for the assertion or, could it be, that Spengler is, unconsciously of course, adding a few flairs of propaganda that verbally incline the reader to a prejuded mind-set re Vladimir, so to speak, setting the "no-Genius" up for the kill? I ask such a "simple question" because up to now the articles on the matter by Spengler have, in contrast to emotinal fury of other PJM contributers, been a paradigm of objectivity. I lament any possible loss of such a journalistic stance.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
A simple question, no doubt foolish, but Spengler writes: "Vladamir Putin HAPPILY ALLOWS the Kiev authorities to shoot a few pro-Russian demonstrators ..." I checked the NYT article to which Spengler refers and could find no mention, let alone the slightest evidence revealing the mental state of Putin (i.e., being "happy") and that Putin ever made an overt act of communication of permission to the Kiev authorities (or to anyone else for that matter) that "allows" them to shoot pro-Russian protesters. Could Spengler please supply the information for the assertion or, could it be, that Spengler is, unconsciously of course, adding a few flairs of propaganda that verbally incline the reader to a prejuded mind-set re Vladimir, so to speak, setting the "no-Genius" up for the kill? I ask such a "simple question" because up to now the articles on the matter by Spengler have, in contrast to emotinal fury of other PJM contributers, been a paradigm of objectivity. I lament any possible loss of such a journalistic stance.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't really get how so many people hate Putin. So often it is the conservatives who really hate him, "KGB thug" etc.

What makes us so great? We export vice around the whole world, our business seems intent on ripping off the whole world, at the moment we're busy turning food into fuel and raising food prices around the world, and our personal lives are disgusting, we kill our own babies, molest our own young, and seem intent on corrupting the poor and youthful with every kind of vice as a matter of government policy, and people strive to make a buck from this misery.

The problem here and in the west generally is that we are all convinced of our own virtue to the point where we believe no matter what we do we are gamut of all that is good.

Somehow Christian inspired virtue and goodwill in the hands of God rejecting atheists results in people who simply can't accept that they sin. They consider themselves Godlike.

Perhaps Americans and Europeans should ask how others see us.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hej Spengler,
I am here in Pomerania,
are you sure Bismarck spoke about Ukraine when he mentioned the pomeranian
soldiers?
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bismarck said, "Die ganze Balkan..." I assumed that everyone knew that. He was right of course. The man who said that the great questions of the day would be settled by blood and iron was also quite cautious about going to war, unlike the feckless Wilhelm II. Then again, if Wilhelm II had listened to von Schlieffen and declared war on France during the First Morocco Crisis of 2005, World War I might have been preempted.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
That was when Germany wanted to act like the US State department in Kiev, leading a coup so that the country revolved into German hands

but... the Brits , new France allies, supported France, and Germany had to retreat

and though the Germans got compensations, Congo

And you're a fashist supporter of anything German, even of the Nazis

BTW, weren't you affiliated to these american companies and or banks that financed the third Reich?
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
1905.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
What would happen if pro-Russian demonstrators took over Federal buildings in Anchorage or Juneau, demanding that Alaska be returned to Russia. Would law enforcement be sent in, or would we refer the case to the UN?
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's really lucky for us that Hillary and Barry pushed the 'reset' button with Russia -- or we might really be in a pickle.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
A few Grenadiers might be worth it, if it stops a greater loss.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Recognition of idiocy is a key element of genius.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't take a mom jean wearing hafrican, that throws like a girl too seriously,I don't think many world leaders do either.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
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