It is no secret that Western Europe is about to enter the winter of its own discontent. Gas prices in The Netherlands have gone ballistic over the last few weeks, during a summer heat wave.
Gas prices have risen again this week to a record-breaking €600 per megawatt hour, compared to €34 two years ago.
Most other European countries are in similar dire situations. The little bar in the village where I am staying, and I must stress that it is a very small bar indeed, recently received the electricity bill for June and July. It came in at over €4000. Needless to say, when I popped in yesterday afternoon for a single beer that then turned into a lot more, most of the lights were off.
The fault for this is a combination of many factors, not least of which is the suicidal lunacy behind the push for green energy and electric vehicles. How anyone can possibly still be advocating for Teslas and the like with electricity costs going to the moon is beyond the cognitive capacity of those of us who do not worship at the feet of Gaia.
But the sanctions against Russia have been the last nail in the coffin, the final drop in the bucket that has pushed over the teetering ship one final degree too many. The ill conceived and thought out sanctions policy has exposed the EU for the rotten and corrupt hulk that it is. But what if those sanctions were in fact the brainchild of the very same ‘rogue state’ which they were supposedly designed to destroy?
As Andrei Martyanov states in a nice piece on the same topic, the sanctions are working just as they were intended.
As Russians say today, when responding to the question of if economic sanctions work, ‘yes, they do–as a boomerang’.
Sanctions have been the West’s virtue signaling tool of trade for a number of generations, going back at least to Japan in the 1930s. The USA goaded and tricked Japan into making its fatal attack at Pearl Harbor through pushing it to economic starvation by cutting off its oil and iron ore imports. The USA still occupies Japan to this day and forces the Japanese government to pay the annual bill for its military bases there.
But history can be a bit of a bitch for those that don’t study it. What worked once may not work the same way again if the chosen adversary doesn’t play by the same rule book, and particularly if that adversary took detailed notes of the mistakes that other nations made in the same situation.
Russia has been preparing for sanctions of this type for the last twenty years. The country is as self sufficient as it is possible to be in the modern world. The same could not be said of the “international community” which has imposed these sanctions. Australia, for instance, jumped on board the sanctions band wagon with glee, yet depends almost entirely on imports for its manufactured products and refined raw materials. Just how Australia would fare in the same situation is not difficult to determine.
But while Russia was becoming self sufficient it was also setting itself up as the main energy provider to Europe. But not only energy; think also of products such as fertiliser and many other key products used in the production of food and energy. All that remained for Russia was to goad its enemies into using the sanctions boomerang against it. The ironic thing is that the USA itself provided the pretext with the CIA orchestrated coup of the Ukraine in 2014 and the subsequent terror bombing of the two Russian breakaway regions.
Russia waited until its economic and military preparations were complete and then made its move. The entire West responded as Russia knew they would, and six months later the economic pain of those sanctions is biting hard – on the West. This was the economic warfare version of Russia crying, “Don’t throw me in the briar patch!”
The lesson from Brer Rabbit & the Briar Patch is that if you’re not strong then you had better be smart. The very bad news for the West is that Russia has played it both smart and strong. Russia is playing the long game. It remains to be seen for how long the West can afford to be so spectacularly wrong.