Betting on Russian Submission? Don’t Roll Those Dice

by | May 23, 2023

Betting on Russian Submission? Don’t Roll Those Dice

by | May 23, 2023

Ñîâåòñêèå òàíêè àòàêóþò. Ðàéîí Ïðîõîðîâêè. 12. èþëÿ 1943 ã.

Ñîâåòñêèå òàíêè àòàêóþò. Ðàéîí Ïðîõîðîâêè. 12. èþëÿ 1943 ã.

As we enjoy our lives within the neocon utopia that’s been carefully crafted for us, let us set aside, for a moment, all basic morality and the natural rights of life, liberty, and property. Surely, if we put on the same hegemonic blinders worn by the likes of John Kirby, Victoria Nuland, Lindsey Graham and the rest, their plans in Ukraine will make perfect sense.

In his February 2022 speech concerning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, President Biden said, “Today, I’m authorizing additional strong sanctions and new limitations on what can be exported to Russia. This is going to impose severe costs on the Russian economy, both immediately and over time.” In an April 2022 speech to reporters in Kiev, Defense Secretary Austin expanded on this sentiment, explaining, “We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine. So it has already lost a lot of military capability. And a lot of its troops, quite frankly. And we want to see them not have the capability to very quickly reproduce that capability.”

Essentially, the U.S. government’s goal has been to drain Russia of personnel, financial and military resources, the end result being preservation of the unipolar world. Doesn’t seem like a bad plan—as long as you ignore the human toll. However, there are multiple historical precedents that provide insight into whether or not this plan can work.

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Non Aggression Pact was hashed out in summer 1939 between the USSR and Nazi Germany, wherein secret protocols allowed both sides to dominate eastern Europe without fear of reprisal from each other. Not long after, of course, Germany invaded Poland from the west, followed by the Soviet invasion from the east.

Stalin knew he couldn’t trust Hitler, and became increasingly concerned that Finland may be used as a base to launch an attack. But the Soviets were unprepared for such an assault. Due mostly to the Bolshevik collectivization of agriculture, an extensive famine began in 1930, which included the Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine. The result would be upwards of 5 million deaths in Ukraine and 8 million overall. Just a few years later, Stalin would begin the Great Purge, killing somewhere in the range of one million of his own people. This didn’t just include religious leaders, Trotsky supporters, and Kulaks (landowning farmers), but the majority of marshals, commanders, and admirals in the Red Army.

After failed negotiations with Finland—due to unreasonable requests which would have undermined their sovereignty—Stalin invaded, kicking off the Winter War in November 1939. Although a spring offensive may have fared better, Stalin was worried about possible threats to his defense industry, of which 30-35 percent was housed in Leningrad, the second Soviet capital near the Finnish border. He felt they couldn’t wait, stating in an April 1940 debriefing, “It would be great stupidity, political short-sightedness to miss the moment and not try as soon as possible, while there is a war going on in the West, to raise and resolve the issue of Leningrad’s security.”

The end result of Stalin’s missteps were three months of humiliation and more than 320,000 casualties compared to Finland’s 70,000. Although they gained more concessions than originally requested, the damage to the Soviet reputation was immense. This demonstrated weakness contributed to Adolf Hitler’s decision to execute Operation Barbarossa in June 1941 and invade the Russian motherland.

Following a famine most of us could never comprehend, a purge of political opponents that makes Richard Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre look like a seasonal layoff, and a three month skirmish that took more young lives than U.S. troops lost in every conflict since Korea combined, the USSR was still able to become “the main engine of Nazism’s destruction,” according to historian Max Hastings. Three quarters of German losses were at the hands of the Red Army.

The USSR spent nearly 27 million lives to retain their place in the pecking order and expel the Wehrmacht from their borders. What better time for the United States to put them out of business for good? It would, however, take 46 more years of technological one-upsmanship, nuclear brinksmanship, and back and forth proxy wars of attrition between the U.S. and USSR before an open dialogue between leaders would finally break up the Communist Bloc.

Contrarians and critics may point out that today’s Russian Federation is no Soviet Union. By population alone there is a significant difference. The 1939 Soviet population was near 170 million while current Russian estimates hover around 143 million and dropping, due in part to negative birth rates (which is the case for most of the developed world). The loss of tens of millions of Russian lives, or even a humiliating defeat to a smaller nation, would certainly pose an “existential threat.” But “existential threats” aren’t what they used to be. The key difference being that Stalin didn’t possess nuclear weapons until 1949, while Putin has nearly 6,000 at his disposal and a reluctant willingness to use them.

The economic security of Russia also comes into question, with an overreliance on natural resources where oil, natural gas, and coal account for more than 50% of their exports. However, this would only be a valid concern if we ignore the importance of these fuel supplies to the economies of the importing nations. Not only is affordable fuel a key factor for developing countries as they lift their people out of poverty, but it remains essential to emerging superpowers like China and India. Russia’s exports of crude oil to these countries have only increased since their invasion of Ukraine, becoming the leader in both markets.

Since their switch to an oligarchical, mixed-market economy, a mirror of the United States, Russia has maintained their place of geopolitical importance with an increase in the standard of living for Russian citizens. These are a resilient people. I know my fellow Americans, and I’m not convinced most of us could handle anything like what the Russians have seen in the last century. And I don’t believe our benevolent leaders, pushing and extending this provoked war, know so little about history that they actually envision a permanently weakened Russia by way of Ukrainian lives. This has always been about regime change, because a nationalist like Vladimir Putin will never kowtow to Washington’s demands, and for them, this is unacceptable.

I understand why neocons on both sides of the aisle are foaming at the mouth. Smedley Butler said it best:

“WAR is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.”

What’s troubling is all the sycophantic drones, all too eager to trust the same people who lie with every exhale; those who picture a day when a nation with the largest nuclear arsenal will submit; those who actually think it’s in their best interest to consolidate and centralize power. The same people who will speak out against monopolies in business but clamor for monopoly in governance.

With the coming collapse of the U.S. dollar, an absurd debt-to-GDP ratio, unbridled intelligence agencies, politically motivated investigations into opposition parties, social discord and division, depleted military stockpiles, and entangling alliances across the globe, it is the United States, not Russia, with the earmarks of an imperial collapse. When it all comes down, Joe Biden or Mitch McConnell or whichever other mediocre “elites” take their place will be standing on the rubble with a solution, in front of a welcoming crowd of uninformed and disjointed citizens. Let’s just hope there’s an “encouraged and braced up” remnant ready to pick up the torch of liberty and rebuild.

About Derek Wheeler

Derek Wheeler is a veteran of the U.S. Army infantry and a small business owner out of Indiana.

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