Amazing how malleable stock traders are. Yesterday they went nuts on the positive side when they read the following headlines: Putin Sees ‘No Need’ for Military Force in Ukraine
IFO, with perhaps a bit more experience with Russian tactics, warns, “Hang on. This isn’t over.” This is typical behavior – the minute there is the least bit of resistance, they step back. Then, when everyone’s attention has turned to other, more important matters, like, say John Travolta’s mispronunciation of some singers name, they go right back to their old tricks.
It may be harder this time, though. Just heard on the news from a newscaster who sounded surprised, that German prime minister Angela Merket speaks Russian. Duh! She was raised in what was then East Germany. Don’t people know that all persons living in the former USSR – Union of Soviet Socialist Republics – were forced to learn Russian?
That turns out to be a bit of a problem when Russians want to attack one of their former satellites. Their “enemies” speak the same language – always a problem when you are trying to demonize a new enemy.
Anyway, the Germans more than anybody, and especially those in the Eastern part of the country, are familiar with Russian tactics. And most Europeans have longer, and more accurate, memories than we Americans do. So Ms. Merkel knows who they are and how to deal with them.
One very worrisome sign that IFO noticed in news photos was that at least one of the unmarked Russian troops appeared to be Asian, as in Mongolian or Siberian. If so, we could see a replay of the Hungarian Revolution.
Pray that is not so. But Putin has to grab as much territory he can while O is in office. The old Clinton team has been weighing in and using much tougher language against the Russian aggression than O’s team is.
IFO thinks Putin was fooled by the public reaection to O’s “red line” in Syria. Our public has a much different attitude toward the Middle East – Syria, even Lebanon, Iraq, etc., than we do Eastern Europe. The Middle Eastern countries were more or less on the side of the Nazis in WW II, so there’s not a ton of sympathy for any side of any conflict there. Also, they are mainly Muslims, so who cares if they are shooting each other, right?
Yes, yes, we know human rights and Christians and all that, but it just doesn’t have the resonance of seeing crowds of peaceful demonstrators in a European capital demanding democracy and connections to Western Europe. That is where most of our ancestors in America came from.
So, watch out, Putin. Don’t make the mistake so many tyrants have in the past – misjudging Americans’ will to resist tyranny in Europe. We remember Chamberlain!